Mary Frere entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Mary Frere, a studious late Victorian of wide interests, was a largely private writer, who won fame with her re-telling in English of South Indian folktales, fairy stories, and fables. These have been generally treated as her unassisted work, though she herself gave full credit to the Indian woman from whose mouth she heard them, Anna Liberata de Souza. They have sometimes, too, been regarded as children's literature. Apart from this one book, which attained the status of a classic, Mary Frere published only one play and a handful of poems.
11 August 1845 MF was born, the eldest of five children (four girls and a boy), at Bitton rectory in Gloucestershire, her father's childhood home, now occupied by her widowed grandmother. Bibliographic Citation link.
By February 1868 MF published with her initials ('M. F.') Old Deccan Days; or, Hindoo Fairy Legends, Current in Southern India. Collected From Oral Tradition, transcribed from the lips of her maid Anna Liberata de Souza. Bibliographic Citation link.
26 March 1911 MF died of heart failure, after some years of failing health, at the Edinburgh Hotel, St Leonards-on-Sea in Sussex. Bibliographic Citation link.
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