Collection: Mary de Morgan

Mary De Morgan (Feb 24, 1850-May 18, 1907) was an acclaimed Victorian author best known for her untraditional fairy tales. Well-educated and choosing not to marry, De Morgan epitomized the “New Woman” in Victorian England, seeking radical social reforms and greater independence for women. She is considered one of England’s first feminist fairy tale writers. Her stories often subverted traditional gender roles, had little concern for accumulating wealth, and in some cases, no happily-ever-after ending. 

De Morgan frequently entertained the children of friends at parties with her inventive tales. Her stories were so well received, she put pen to paper and soon published her first story collection at the age of twenty-seven. Her three collections of fairy tales include On a Pincushionand Other Fairy Tales (1877); The Necklace of Princess Fiorimonde and Other Stories(1880); and The Windfairiesand Other Tales (1900). 

Her story “The Toy Princess” from On a Pincushion was adapted in 1966 for the BBC children’s TV show Jackanory, and again in 1981 on Jackanory Playhouse. Otherwise, over time her fairy tales have mostly been forgotten. De Morgan died in Egypt of tuberculosis in 1907 at the age of fifty-seven. 

Mary de Morgan