Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Wormeley, Mary Elizabeth
WORMELEY, Mary Elizabeth, author, b. in London, England, 26 July, 1822. Her father, Admiral Ralph Randolph Wormeley, of the British navy, a native of Virginia (1785-1852), had for some time preceding his death resided in Boston, Mass., and was grandson, on the mother's side, of Attorney-General John Randolph. Her mother was a niece of Com. Edward Preble, U. S. navy. The daughter resided several years in Newport, R. I., and, after gaining a reputation as a writer, married Randolph Latimer, of Baltimore. She has contributed to magazines, and published “Forest Hill: a Tale of Social Life in 1830-'1” (3 vols., London, 1846); “Amabel, a Family History” (New York, 1853); “Our Cousin Veronica” (1856); and “Familiar Talks on Some of Shakespeare's Comedies” (Boston, 1887); also translations of Louis Ulbach's “Madame Gosselin” (New York, 1878); “The Steel Hammer” (1888); and “For Fifteen Years” (1888).—Her sister, Katharine Prescott, author, b. in Suffolk, England, 14 July, 1832, took an active interest in the relief of the National soldiers during the civil war, and published “The U. S. Sanitary Commission” (Boston, 1863). A volume of her letters from the headquarters of the U. S. sanitary commission with the Army of the Potomac during the peninsular campaign in 1862 has been published by the Massachusetts commandery of the Loyal legion under the title of “The Other Side of War” (1888). She is best known as the American translator of Honoré de Balzac's novels, of which thirteen volumes have been issued (Boston, 1886-'9), among which the “Magic Skin,” “Louis Lambert,” and “Séraphita,” have introductions by George Frederic Parsons.—Another sister, Ariana Randolph, b. in Suffolk, England, 14 Oct., 1835, married Daniel Sargent Curtis, of Boston. She has published a comedy entitled “The Coming Woman, or the Spirit of '76” (Boston, 1870), that has been acted in public and private both in the United States and in Europe.