A household name among Catholics of her time, Mother Mary Loyola was principally a writer of books introducing children to the Christian (Catholic) faith. Though her everyday world differed from ours, her writing remains fresh even today. This is because she was a gifted storyteller, able to conjure up the most vivid images, so that whether describing London in 1910 or Jersusalem in ancient times, we are apt to feel as though we were there, watching the scene by her side.
Mary Loyola (1845-1930) - born Elizabeth Giles - was the grand-niece of Michael Faraday, the famous physicist, whose annual Christmas lectures for children were presented in language they could understand. Mother Loyola had the same gift for explaining difficult things to children in a way that kept them enraptured. In her hands, the Catholic Faith is never tired, tedious, confusing, trivialised or saccharine - in fact, you may have a hard time putting her books down! Although born into a strict Protestant, London family, she entered an uncle's Catholic family after her own had all died of scarlet fever, and in 1854 attended the Bar Convent School in York. Having finished her studies, she felt called to the religious life, and in 1866 decided to return to the Bar Convent, this time as a Sister. For many years she taught in the convent school, even serving as Headmistress and Mother Superior for a time. Her first book was published in 1896/7, but it wasn't until 1921 that "The King of the Golden City" appeared, the crowning pinnacle of her writing career. After serious fall in 1923 which confined her to bed she wrote more books and a profusion of pamphlets. Her work remained popular after her death, but as times changed, they fell out of use and out of print.
Our copy is in good general condition for its 100+ years, bound in brownish cloth with gilt title etc on the spine and a gilt motif of a communion chalice in a roundel on the front. Edges, corners and angles are rubbed, corners and top & tail of spine a little worn, and there are some pale stains & marks generally. The book has a fairly marked lean. Inside, the binding is fairly firm with no loose pages; pages generally clean apart from occasional foxing (worst on front endpaper and subsequent page). B/W frontispiece of Holman Hunt's 'Light of the World' is present and retains its tissue guard. A Prize label has been pasted to the halftitle page, which itself is almost inaccessible as a result.