Mary Botham, born at Coleford, Gloucestershire, was daughter of Samuel Botham, a Quaker, and in 1821 married William Howitt. They turned to joint-authoring for a living and made a success of their many interests. She wrote novels such as Wood Leighton, a history of the United States, and many poems and stories for children; and she translated both the Swedish novels of Frederica Bremer and Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales (as Wonderful Stories for Children). They lived abroad at Heidelberg and Rome, where she died in 1888, having converted from Quakerism and spiritualism to Roman Catholicism in 1882. Her daughter Margaret edited the Autobiography of her mother (London: W. Isbister, 1889; PR 4809 H2Z52 Robarts Library). Mary's books of verse include Sketches of Natural History (1834) and Ballads and other Poems (London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1847; PR 4809 H2A6 Robarts Library). Howitt's photograph comes from Carl Ray Woodring's Victorian Samplers: William and Mary Howitt (Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Press, 1952): opposite p. 36 (source unattributed).