Author Whitaker Evelyn

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Evelyn Whitaker (1857 - 1903) was a British woman novelist. All her works were published anonymously and the identity of the author of Tip Cat was not revealed until after her death. Her nineteen novels and several shorter stories were issued by multiple publishers in Britain, Australia, Canada and the United States from 1879-1915. Many of these editions were beautifully bound and illustrated. The novels were intended for children and young adults but were also widely read by adults, particularly women. Evelyn Whitaker's writing style was praised as "a study in English for its conciseness, simplicity, and elegance"1 and Tip Cat was adopted as a text book for German students studying English.2 Her stories were described as "charming, pure, and wholesome," full of "humor and pathos." For more than a decade after Evelyn Whitaker's death, her two most popular titles, Miss Toosey's Mission and Laddie, continued to be reissued as gift books. Such little novels with religious or moral themes


were given as Sunday School prizes, often as attendance awards. Such books where generally inexpensively made with inferior paper, ink, and illustrations but with attractive bindings. The ornate bindings made up half the production costs. Evelyn Whitaker's novels demonstrate intimate knowledge of life both in a vicarage and in a doctor's household and these homes are frequently the settings of her novels. Her religious view is traditional Anglican and that perspective informs her writing. In Miss Toosey's Mission, Tip Cat, and Lil she comments on Puseyites, Dissenters, and Methodism. The works of Evelyn Whitaker portray a fondness for the childhood nursery, dogs, and flowers. The author makes frequent use of the Victorian Language of flowers. She relates the blessings and burdens of children, rich and poor. She knows the streets of London and the rustic beauty of the countryside. She observes the plight of the urban poor, the rural worker displaced by industrialization, the mill worker, and the late 19th Century woman who might wish for a better education and more economic opportunity. Having spent her whole life in the service of the sick2, Evelyn Whitaker is familiar with sick rooms, hospitals, and death and she often includes these settings and events in her novels. Tip Cat (Scarlet fever), Gay (Diphtheria), and Lassie (Typhoid) present descriptions of fever epidemics and public health and hygiene education. Gay provides details of home nursing care, quarantines, and a visit to the London Fever Hospital at Homerton. Pen and Lassie include the effects of Alcoholism on family life. Laddie and Lassie present a study in gender differences in the care of aging parents. Although sometimes attributed to her, Evelyn Whitaker is not the author of Honor Bright, or the four leaved shamrock and Gilly Flower (1889). A number of books by Evelyn Whitaker have been digitized and are available on-line. [1] Books by Evelyn Whitaker were illustrated by the following artists: 1 snippets of book reviews and publishers blurbs at[2] 2 Tip Cat by the author of Lil, Pen, Our Little Ann, Dear, etc. etc. Herausgegeben von Geh. Rat Prof. Dr. K Horst. Bielefeld und Leipzig: Velhagen & Klasing, 1930. For information about London's fever hospitals, please see: The Metropolitan Assylums Board [3] and Geoffrey Revitt: The Development of the London Hospital System. [4] More information about Evelyn Whitaker and an annotated catalog of a collection of her books is available at: [5]

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