Authors, scholars and activists

Authors, scholars and activists

Anna Katherine Green (1846-1935) was a bestselling American writer whose first crime fiction novel The Leavenworth Case. A Lawyer's Story (published in 1878) and subsequent books, featuring Amelia Butterworth as the prototype of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple (see here), became required reading at Yale University’s Law School in order to demonstrate the dangers of only using circumstantial evidence.

Alice Marion Hart (c. 1850-1931; née Rowland) was born in London, one of eight children. Her father was Alexander Rowland, a wealthy businessman, and her sister was Henrietta Barnett, a well-known nineteenth century social reformer and educationalist. In 1872 Alice Rowland married Ernest A. Hart (1835-1898), a surgeon and editor of the British Medical Journal. Alice Rowland was his second wife.

Kezia Elizabeth Hayter was matron on board the ship Rajah, which left Woolwich, England, on 5th April 1841. The Rajah is directly linked to a 1841 convict quilt called the Rajah quilt.

Marcus Bourne Huish was an English writer and collector of embroideries, especially samplers. Huish is particularly known for his book, Samplers and Tapestry Embroideries (1900, London: Longmans, Green and Co.). 

Iwao Saito was a Japanese master embroiderer, who founded the Kurenai kai organisation in Japan, set up in order to preserve and promote Japanese embroidery traditions. He published four volumes of The Japanese Embroidery Book (I, II, III and IV; from 1987), and Traditional Japanese Embroidery (1975; various titles; in Japanese).

Eliza Matilda Johnson-Lynch, born in Ireland in 1846, played an important role in the promotion of Italian embroidery in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She was a great traveller, and very active in the women's rights movement.

Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay (1903-1988) was an Indian activist, who was involved in the support and development of Indian handicrafts, including textiles and embroidery. Her parents were Anantaiah Dhareshwar and Girijabai (Mangalore, India), who were Saraswat Brahmins. Her parents were regarded as intellectual liberals, and were actively involved in various political (especially nationalist) movements.

Albert Frank Kendrick was a textile historian and keeper of the department of Textiles, Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London, England. He worked at the museum from 1897 until 1924. One of his responsibilities was the re-organization of the textile department while the museum was closed for renovation in the early 1900's (the museum was re-opened in 1909).

Frances S. Lambert was a mid-nineteenth century British embroideress and author of several influential books about embroidery. Her books were published in both Britain and North America.

Horace Arthur Lowe (1869-1930) was an English textile chemist from Heaton Moor, Lancashire (England), who played an important role in the development of mercerisation.

Ann Macbeth (1875-1948) was a British author, embroideress and head of the Embroidery department at the Glasgow School of Art, from 1908 to 1921. She was the daughter of the Scottish engineer, Norman Macbeth, and Annie MacNicol.

Madame Eugénie Luce (1804-1882) was a French teacher who established the first French/Arab school for Muslim girls in Algiers (Algeria) in 1845. Particular attention was paid in the school to embroidery. It is often stated that she was a widow, but in reality it would appear that she had left her husband because of domestic abuse. In order to support her children, she became a governess and moved to Algiers, probably in 1834.

Janet McDonald Davies lives in New Zealand and is a teacher of needlework, in particular quilting. She has written various books in this field. Her love of the subject and personal understanding are reflected in her humorous poetry. Below are some examples of her ´Stitching Poetry´, with many thanks for her permission to publish them. For her website, click here. GVE

Alistair Moffat is a journalist, writer, former director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Rector of the University of St. Andrews. Moffat was also co-chairman and historian for the Great Tapestry of Scotland, a community arts project that depicts the history of Scotland. The embroidery was unveiled in 2013 in the Scottish Parliament.

William Morris was an English architect, designer, publisher, social activist and writer, who was involved in a number of significant changes in English textile forms, including embroidery, during the nineteenth century. Morris and a group of influential, London based artists called the Pre-Raphaelites, were instrumental in the revival of traditional crafts production techniques.

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