Woman of the Century/Mary Stewart Smith

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

SMITH, Mrs. Mary Stewart, author and translator, born in the University of Virginia, 10th February, 1854. She is the second daughter of Prof. Gessner Harrison and his wife, Eliza Lewis Carter Tucker. Dr. Harrison gave to his children the valuable idea that education is not finished with the school curriculum, but is a thing of eternal progressiveness. Private tutors were freely engaged for the children. They studied Latin, German, French and Italian. One daughter, Maria, began Hebrew, and Mary took up Greek. MARY STEWART SMITH A woman of the century (page 679 crop).jpgMARY STEWART SMITH. She began early to rhyme and show great fondness for poetry, natural scenery, and romances of the best description. When thirteen years old, being chosen Queen of the May by her companions, she composed a poem to recite upon her coronation. From that time until she arrived at maturity she wrote verse only occasionally. In spare hours from numerous duties she greedily devoured every work of fiction that came in her way. She became the wife of Prof. Francis H Smith in 1853, and considers herself to be peculiarly blessed in being able to reside still in the University of Virginia, her beloved native place. After the Civil War was over, she took up her pen for the real and earnest literary work of her life. Besides original articles, her translations from the German for leading periodicals and publishing houses form in themselves a long list. From E. Werner she has translated "A Hero of the Pen." "Hermann," "Good Luck," "What the Spring Brought," "St. Michael," "A Judgment of God" and "Beacon Lights." Her translations from other German writers are "Lieschen" "The Fairy of the Alps," "The Bailiffs Maid." "Cold Elsie," "Old Ma'am-selfe’s Secret," "The Owl House." "The Lady With the Rubies," "Serapis," "The Bride of the Nile," "Lace," by Paul Lindau, and others. She is thought by eminent critics to have an especial gift for translating German poetry, as for instance her "Chidhe" in the "Overland Monthly." She is one of those writers who have power to please children. Some of her books for children are translations from the German or adaptations from the French. Among the former are "The Canary Bird, and Other Stories," and "Jack the Breton Boy." From original work and French suggestion may be noted "How Lillie Spent Her Day," and " Little May and Her Lost A." Of her original books, "Heirs of the Kingdom" was published in Nashville, for which a prize of $300 was awarded by a select committee. "Lang Syne, or the Wards of Mt. Vernon" was published on the occasion of the Washington Centennial, held in New York in April, 1887. Mrs. Smith has made innumerable contributions of practical articles to "Harper's Bazar," some to the "American Agriculturist," "Good Housekeeping," and other periodicals of like trend. Of this sort of literature her "Virginia Cookery Rook" (New York) is a valuable work; so also is her "Art of Housekeeping" (New York), which first appeared as a series of papers written for the New York "Fashion Bazar." Her series of "Letters from a Lady in New York" was published in the "Religious Herald." Some of her good work has been in the form of review articles for the "Southern Review," the "Southern Methodist Quarterly" and the "Church Review." She translated from the French "The Salon of Mme. Necker." Some of her best review articles are: "Askaros Kassis Karis," "Robert Emmet" "Queen Louisa of Prussia," "John of Bameveldt," "What the Swallows Sang." "The Women of the Revolution," "The Women of the Southern Confederacy," "Madame de Slael and Her Parents." "The Necker Family," "Madam Récamier," "Mary and Martha Washington," and "The Virginia Gentlewoman of the Olden Time."