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Markham, Mrs

MARKHAM, MRS, the pseudonym of Elizabeth Penrose (1780-1837), English writer, daughter of Edmund Cartwright the inventor of the power-loom. She was born at her father's rectory at Goadby Marwood, Leicestershire; on the 3rd of August 1780. In 1804 she married the Rev. John Penrose, a country clergyman in Lincolnshire and a voluminous theological writer. During her girlhood Mrs Penrose had frequently stayed with relatives at Markham, a village in Nottinghamshire, and from this place she took the nom de plume of " Mrs Markham," under which she gained celebrity as a writer of history and other books for the young. The best known of her books was A History of England from the First Invasion by the Romans to the End of the Reign of George III. (1823), which went through numerous editions. In 1828 she published a History of France. Both these works enjoyed a wide popularity in America as well as in England. The distinctive characteristic of " Mrs Markham's " histories was the elimination of all the " horrors " of history, and of the complications of modern party politics, as being unsuitable for the youthful mind; and the addition to each chapter of " Conversations " between a fictitious group consisting of teacher and pupils bearing upon the subject matter. Her less well-known works were Amusements of Westernheath, or Moral Stories for Children (2 vols., 1824); A Visit to the Zoological Gardens (1829); two volumes of stories entitled The New Children's Friend (1832); Historical Conversations for Young People (1836); Sermons for Children (1837). Mrs Markham died at Lincoln on the 24th of January 1837.

See Samuel Smiles, A Publisher and his Friends (2 vols., London, 1891); G. C. Boase and W. P. Courtney, BMiolheca Cornubiensis (3 vols., London, 1874-1882).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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