May Kendall entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
May Kendall is most notable for late-nineteenth-century poems characterized by sharp humour and sarcastic wit on topics related to evolutionary science and the 'new woman'. Her novels employ sarcasm and irony to examine British society, particularly the fruitlessness of philanthropy. Early in the twentieth century she collaborated with Andrew Lang on a social reform novel and fairy tale, and with Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree on treatises on working-class poverty that urged legal reform and a minimum wage. May Kendall's brilliant work in this genre is often overshadowed by the fame of her male collaborators.
4 December 1861 MK was born this year as Emma Goldworth Kendall at Bridlington in Yorkshire, the youngest of four children.  Bibliographic Citation link.
1885 MK's first full-length published work was a short novel, in part a fairy tale: That Very Mab, written in collaboration with Andrew Lang, the classical scholar and folklore collector.  Bibliographic Citation link.
By mid-November 1887 MK's first book of poetry, Dreams to Sell, appeared. It is most notable for its section on "Science" and the way its evolutionary theory challenges naturalist notions of women's inferiority. Bibliographic Citation link.    scholarly note link.
February 1931 "The Stone Fiddler: A Garden Statue" was MK's last poem published in the Cornhill Magazine. Bibliographic Citation link.
11 October 1943 MK died in poverty at an institution in York; her death certificate gives the cause as "Senile", that is suffering from dementia. Bibliographic Citation link.
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