Mary

Mary

[mair-ee]
Astell, Mary, 1666-1731, English author and feminist. Her Serious Proposal to the Ladies (2 parts, 1694-97) offered a scheme for a women's college, an idea far in advance of the time. The project was not realized, and her ideas were ridiculed in the Tatler, possibly by Swift and Addison.
Wollstonecraft, Mary, 1759-97, English author and feminist, b. London. She was an early proponent of educational equality between men and women, expressing this radical opinion in Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1786). Her most important book, A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792), was the first great feminist document. She also wrote several novels. In Paris, where she lived with an American, Gilbert Imlay, during much of the French Revolution, she was close to many of the Revolution's leading political figures. After the birth (1794) of a daughter, Fanny, Imlay deserted her, and in 1797 she married William Godwin. She died within days of giving birth to another daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, who married Percy Bysshe Shelley.

See W. Godwin, Memoirs of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (1798); biographies by C. Tomalin (1974), E. Sunstein (1975), J. Lorch (1990), J. Todd (2000), D. Jacobs (2001), and L. Gordon (2005); studies by J. Bouten (1975), M. Poovey (1984), M. Ferguson and J. Todd (1984), A. Meena (1989), S. M. Conger (1994), H. D. Jump, ed. (1994 and 2003); M. J. Falco, ed. (1996), A. Tauchert (2002), and B. Taylor (2003).

Quant, Mary, 1934-, British fashion designer. After opening her boutique in London to sell clothes, she began to design them as well. She was one of the originators of the "mod" or "Chelsea" look of the 1960s that helped make London the new center of fashion. Her designs included miniskirts; vinyl boots; dresses with striking geometric patterns and strong colors; and the "wet" look achieved by tightly fitted vinyl clothing for a young and avant-garde clientele.

See her Quant on Quant (1966).

Pickford, Mary, 1893-1979, American movie actress, b. Toronto, Ont. In 1909 she began working with D. W. Griffith. Specializing in playing young girls, she was dubbed "America's Sweetheart." Her films include A Poor Little Rich Girl (1917), Pollyanna (1919), Little Lord Fauntleroy (1921), and Tess of the Storm Country (1922). In 1919 she cofounded the distribution firm United Artists with Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, and Douglas Fairbanks, her husband. She produced her own films thereafter. She won an Academy Award for Coquette (1929), her first movie with sound. She retired from acting in 1933, but continued to produce films for United Artists.

See her autobiography (1955); biographies by R. Windeler (1974) and E. Whitfield (1997); K. Brownlow, Mary Pickford Rediscovered (1999).

Challens, Mary: see Renault, Mary.
Jemison, Mary, 1743-1833, American frontierswoman. She was born at sea while her parents were en route from Ireland to America. In W Pennsylvania she was captured (1758) by a French and Indian War party, taken to Fort Duquesne, and given to two Seneca women, who adopted her. She was married twice (to a Delaware and to a Seneca) and bore eight children. Known as the White Woman of the Genesee, Mary Jemison refused to leave the Senecas, and in 1817 New York confirmed her possession of a tract of land (given her in 1797) on the Genesee River. Her story is told in a classic tale of "Indian-capture," J. E. Seaver's Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison (1824; latest ed. 1967).
Carpenter, Mary, 1807-77, English educator. She devoted her life to the establishment of schools and institutions and the promotion of educational reforms. In 1835 she organized the Working and Visiting Society, in 1846 opened a school for poor children, and in 1852 founded a juvenile reformatory (see her Juvenile Delinquents: Their Condition and Treatment, 1852). Her agitation for reformatory and industrial schools contributed to the passage of the Juvenile Offenders Act (1857) and furthered the movement for free day schools. She made four visits to India after 1866, interesting herself in Indian education, and also lectured in the United States.

See biography by J. E. Carpenter (1879, 2d ed. 1881, repr. 1973).

Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936, American novelist, b. Buchanan, Va. Her books combine romance with history. She is chiefly remembered for To Have and to Hold (1900), a story of colonial Virginia, and its successor, Audrey (1902). Her other novels include two Civil War stories, The Long Roll (1911) and Cease Firing (1912); The Great Valley (1926); and Miss Delicia Allen (1932).
Lyon, Mary, 1797-1849, American educator, founder of Mt. Holyoke College, b. Buckland, Mass. She attended three academies in Massachusetts; later she taught at Ashfield, Mass., Londonderry, N.H., and Ipswich, Mass. Interested in promoting the higher education of women, she won the aid of several influential men and succeeded (1837) in establishing Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary (later Mt. Holyoke College) at South Hadley, Mass. She served as principal for 12 years, directing the development of a well-rounded college program and emphasizing the principle of service to others.

See biographies by E. Banning (1965) and E. A. Green (1979); M. F. Lansing, ed., Mary Lyon through Her Letters (1937).

Renault, Mary, pseud. of Mary Challens, 1905-83, English novelist, b. London. After receiving her nursing degree in 1936, she emigrated to South Africa. She was best-known for her historical novels about ancient Greece and Rome, including The King Must Die (1958), The Mask of Apollo (1966), Fire from Heaven (1970), and The Persian Boy (1973). Renault's works often revolve around homosexuality and the struggles of men and women to forge a sexual identity; this struggle is the central focus of The Charioteer (1955), a study of soldiers in World War II, widely regarded as her finest novel.

See studies by P. Wolfe (1969) and B. F. Dick (1972).

Anderson, Mary, 1872-1964, American labor expert, chief (1919-44) of the Women's Bureau, U.S. Dept. of Labor, b. Sweden. She emigrated to the United States in 1888. After some years as an industrial worker in garment and shoe factories, she became an organizer for the National Boot and Shoe Workers' Union and one of the founders of the National Women's Trade Union League. In 1918 she was appointed assistant to the chief of the Women's Bureau, becoming its chief in 1919.

See her autobiography, Woman at Work (1951, repr. 1973).

Mary, in the Bible, mother of Jesus. Christian tradition reckons her the principal saint, naming her variously the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady, and Mother of God (Gr., theotokos). Her name is the Hebrew Miriam.

Her Life

The events of her life mentioned in the New Testament include her betrothal and marriage to Joseph; the archangel Gabriel's annunciation to her of Jesus' birth; her visitation to her cousin Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist; Jesus' nativity; her purification at the Temple; her station at the Cross, where Jesus instructed that she and his disciple John should consider themselves related as mother and son; her visit to Christ's tomb after his resurrection; and her attendance in the room with the Twelve Apostles at Pentecost.

Although few other details of her life are mentioned or implied in the Bible, tradition has it that she was the daughter of St. Joachim and St. Anne, announced miraculously to them; that she was presented and dedicated at the Temple as a virgin; and that she was "assumed" directly into heaven, a doctrine that did not appear until the 5th cent. In 1950, Pope Pius XII's bull Munificentissimus Deus made Mary's bodily assumption into heaven an article of faith.

Her Significance in Christianity

Virginity and Immaculate Conception

Since the early church the theme of Mary's virginity has served as an important emblem of Christianity's ascetic ideal. The Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and some Protestant traditions teach the perpetual virginity of Mary, placing a nonliteral interpretation on New Testament references to Jesus' "brothers." The Roman Catholic Church additionally has proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (declared in the bull Ineffabilis Deus of Pius IX, 1854), according to which Mary was conceived without original sin. The Roman Catholic Church further teaches that Mary was freed from actual sin by a special grace of God.

Intercession and Veneration

From earliest times Mary's intercession was believed to be especially efficacious on behalf of humankind and the church; since the Middle Ages, recitation of the rosary has been among the most popular expressions of Marian devotion. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary is the mediatrix of all graces. The body of doctrine about Mary is called Mariology; Mariolatry is an opprobrious term used since the Reformation to mean the worship of Mary—a criticism leveled by many Protestants at the cult of Mary within the Roman Catholic Church. Catholics maintain that the veneration (hyperdulia) accorded Mary, while higher than that accorded any other creature, is infinitely lower than the worship (latria) reserved for Jesus. The principal feasts honoring Mary are those of the Assumption (Aug. 15), the Birthday of Our Lady (Sept. 8), the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8), the Purification (Feb. 2: see Candlemas), and the Annunciation or Lady Day (Mar. 25).

Apparitions

Apparitions of the Virgin have been reported since ancient times, and some have led to new cultuses and shrines, typically associated with cures. These apparitions include those at Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico, in 1531, associated with a miraculous painting (Our Lady of Guadalupe); at Paris (Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal) in 1830; at Lourdes, France, in 1858; and at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917. The most well-known apparitions since then have been those at Medjugorje, Bosnia; since they began in the early 1980s they have attracted many pilgrims but have not been officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. Two great pilgrim shrines of medieval England were Our Lady of Glastonbury and Our Lady of Walsingham (Norfolk). Our Lady of Częstochowa has been a rallying point of Polish nationalism.

Patroness and Artistic Subject

Mary in her aspect of the Immaculate Conception is the patroness of the United States, and Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared Empress of all the Americas by Pope Pius X. With Lumen Gentium (1964), Pope Paul VI proclaimed Mary as Mother of the Church. In the 1980s, while it was still a part of the USSR, Pope John Paul II dedicated Russia to her. Artistic representations of Mary are innumerable; for differing aspects, see Christian iconography under iconography. She has been the subject of countless works from the time of the pseudepigrapha.

Bibliography

See H. C. Graef, Mary (2 vol., 1963-65); H. A. Oberman, The Virgin Mary in Evangelical Perspective (1971); S. Benko, Protestants, Catholics and Mary (1978); H. Küng, ed., Mary in the Churches (1983); M. O'Connell, ed., Theotokos: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1983).

Mary, 1867-1953, queen consort of George V of England. Daughter of the duke of Teck and great-granddaughter of George III, she was engaged first to George's elder brother, the duke of Clarence, who died in 1892. She married George, then duke of York, in 1893. Among her sons were Edward VIII and George VI.
Mary, in the New Testament. 1 Mary, the Virgin. 2 Mary Magdalene. 3 Wife of Cleophas. 4 Mary of Bethany, sister of Lazarus and Martha. She sat at Jesus' feet while Martha served. She has come to symbolize the life of contemplative love of God. Some identify her with St. Mary Magdalen. 5 Roman lady saluted by Paul. 6 Mother of St. Mark. 7 Mother of Saint James the Less.
Mary or Mari, city (1991 pop. 94,900), capital of Mary region, SE Turkmenistan. Lying in a large oasis of the Kara Kum desert, on the Murgab River delta, Mary is the center of a rich cotton-growing area. It is a rail junction and carries on extensive trade in cotton, wool, grain, and hides. Mary is also a major center of the natural gas industry. Mary arose in 1884 as a Russian military-administrative center c.20 mi (30 km) from the site of ancient Merv and was itself called Merv until 1937.
Garden, Mary, 1874-1967, Scottish-American operatic soprano, b. Aberdeen, Scotland, studied in Paris. Her debut (1900) occurred when she replaced, without rehearsal, the star of Charpentier's Louise, at the Opéra-Comique, Paris. In 1902 she created the role of Mélisande in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. In the title role of Massenet's Thaïs she made her American debut (1907) with the Manhattan Opera Company, New York City, and was a member of the Chicago Opera Company from 1910 to 1931.
McGrory, Mary, 1918-2004, American journalist, b. Boston, grad. Emmanuel College. McGrory wrote with clarity, lyricism, and wit on the events and personalities of the five decades spanned by her groundbreaking career. In 1954 she began reporting for the Washington Star, where she had been hired in 1947 as a book reviewer, and quickly attracted notice with cogent pieces on the Army-McCarthy hearings (see McCarthy, Joseph Raymond). McGrory, an avowed liberal, began her syndicated column in 1960, moving (1981) to the Washington Post when the Star folded. She was particularly noted for her coverage of the election, assassination, and funeral of President Kennedy; the Vietnam War; the rise and fall of President Nixon (she was on his "enemies list"); the Watergate affair (Pulitzer Prize, 1975); the impeachment of President Clinton; and the invasion of Iraq.
Wigman, Mary, 1886-1973, German dancer, choreographer, and teacher. After studying with Rudolf von Laban, Wigman performed in Germany and opened her own school in Dresden (1920). She became the most influential German exponent of expressive movement and toured extensively. Her school, which had branches throughout the world, was closed by the Nazis. She reopened it in Berlin in 1948, where it was the center of European modern dance for 20 years. Although her early choreography employed spontaneous movements, much of her later work was in the form of group dances that employed repetitive patterns. Through her teaching and that of her students and dancers, especially Hanya Holm and Margarete Wallmann, she influenced modern dance throughout Germany, the United States, and England.

See W. Sorell, ed., The Mary Wigman Book: Her Writings (1975).

Cassatt, Mary, 1844-1926, American figure painter and etcher, b. Pittsburgh. Most of her life was spent in France, where she was greatly influenced by her great French contemporaries, particularly Manet and Degas, whose friendship and esteem she enjoyed. She allied herself with the impressionists early in her career. Motherhood was Cassatt's most frequent subject. Her pictures are notable for their refreshing simplicity, vigorous treatment, and pleasing color. She excelled also as a pastelist and etcher, and her drypoints and color prints are greatly admired. She is well represented in public and private galleries in the United States. Her best-known pictures include several versions of Mother and Child (Metropolitan Mus.; Mus. of Fine Arts, Boston; Worcester, Mass., Art Mus.); Lady at the Tea-Table (Metropolitan Mus.); Modern Women, a mural painted for the Women's Building of the Chicago exposition; and a portrait of the artist's mother.

See catalog by A. D. Breeskin (1970, rev. ed. 1980); N. M. Mathews, ed., Cassatt and Her Circle: Selected Letters (1984); N. Hale, Mary Cassatt (1987); N. M. Mathews, Mary Cassatt: A Life (1994).

Stuart or Stewart, Mary: see Mary Queen of Scots.
Dyer, Mary, d. 1660, Quaker martyr in Massachusetts, b. England. She accompanied (c.1635) her husband to Massachusetts and supported Anne Hutchinson, whom she followed to Rhode Island, where her husband held several public offices. In 1650 she returned to England and there joined the Society of Friends (Quakers). On her return to America (1657) she was arrested in Boston and banished, but twice returned (1659, 1660) to minister to imprisoned Quakers. Twice arrested by Massachusetts authorities and condemned to be hanged both times, she was reprieved in 1659 but was subsequently executed in 1660.

See biography by H. Rogers (1896).

Westmacott, Mary: see Christie, Dame Agatha.
Martin, Mary, 1913-90, American musical comedy star, b. Weatherford, Tex. From Martin's first stage appearance in Leave It to Me (1938), she starred in several enormously successful musicals, including One Touch of Venus (1943), South Pacific (1949); Peter Pan (1954), and The Sound of Music (1959). Her buoyant singing voice and high-spirited temperament won her widespread popularity. Her films included The Great Victor Herbert (1939) and, for television, Peter Pan and Annie Get Your Gun.

Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin), detail, oil on canvas by John Opie, c. 1797; in the National Portrait elipsis

(born April 27, 1759, London, Eng.—died Sept. 10, 1797, London) English writer. She taught school and worked as a governess and as a translator for a London publisher. Her early Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787) foreshadowed her mature work on the place of women in society, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), whose core is a plea for equality in the education of men and women. The Vindication is widely regarded as the founding document of modern feminism. In 1797 she married the philosopher William Godwin; she died days after the birth of their daughter, Mary (see Mary Shelley), that same year.

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orig. Marie Wiegmann

(born Nov. 13, 1886, Hanover, Ger.—died Sept. 18, 1973, West Berlin, W.Ger.) Pioneering German dancer. Wigman studied with Émile Jaques-Dalcroze and Rudolf Laban and made her debut in 1914. Only a few years later she began a stellar career as an innovative choreographer. Her impact on dance throughout the West was immense. Her students included Hanya Holm, who exerted a major influence on the development of American modern dance, and thousands of other original choreographers.

Learn more about Wigman, Mary with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, detail of an oil painting by Richard Rothwell, first exhibited 1840; elipsis

(born Aug. 30, 1797, London, Eng.—died Feb. 1, 1851, London) English Romantic novelist. The only daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, she met and eloped with Percy B. Shelley in 1814. They married in 1816 after his first wife committed suicide. Mary Shelley's best-known work is Frankenstein (1818), a narrative of the dreadful consequences of a scientist's artificially creating a human being. After her husband's death in 1822, she devoted herself to publicizing his writings and educating their son. Of her several other novels, the best, The Last Man (1826), is an account of the future destruction of the human race by a plague.

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(flourished 1st century, Palestine; feast day July 22) Follower of Jesus and the first person to see the resurrected Christ. According to Luke 8:2 and Mark 16:9, Jesus cleansed her of seven demons. She accompanied him in Galilee, and she witnessed his Crucifixion and burial. On Easter morning she went with two other women to anoint the corpse, but the tomb was empty. Christ later appeared to her and instructed her to tell the Apostles that he was ascending to God. Popular tradition has long associated her with the repentant prostitute who anointed Christ's feet.

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orig. Mary Stuart

(born Dec. 8, 1542, Linlithgow Palace, West Lothian, Scot.—died Feb. 8, 1587, Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, Eng.) Queen of Scotland (1542–67). She became queen when her father, James V (1512–42), died six days after her birth. She was sent by her mother, Mary of Guise, to be raised at the court of the French king Henry II and was married in 1558 to his son Francis II. After Francis's brief rule as king (1559–60) ended with his premature death, Mary returned to Scotland (1561), where she was distrusted because of her Catholic upbringing. In 1565 the red-haired queen married her ambitious cousin Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, and became a victim of intrigues among the Scottish nobles. Darnley conspired with them to murder her confidant David Riccio. After the birth of her son James (later James I of England) in 1566, Mary was estranged from Darnley, who was murdered in 1567. Ignoring objections by the jealous Scottish nobility, she married James Hepburn, earl of Bothwell (1535?–78), a suspect in Darnley's murder. The rebellious nobles deserted her army at Carberry Hill and forced her to abdicate in favour of her son (1567). After failed attempts to win back the throne, she sought refuge in England with her cousin Elizabeth I, who arranged to keep her in captivity. Several uprisings by English Catholics in Mary's favour convinced Elizabeth to have Mary tried and condemned; she was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in 1587.

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(born Feb. 11, 1934, London, Eng.) English fashion designer. Specializing in youth-oriented fashions, she was responsible in the 1960s for the “Chelsea look” of England and the widespread popularity of the miniskirt and “hot pants.” After opening a successful boutique called Bazaar in 1957, she went on to mass-produce her designs on a multimillion-dollar annual scale.

Learn more about Quant, Mary with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Feb. 10, 1927, Laurel, Miss., U.S.) U.S. soprano. She was trained at the Juilliard School. After her debut in a revival of Four Saints in Three Acts in 1952, she made her name in the international tour of Porgy and Bess (1953–55). She sang in Aïda at Milan's La Scala in 1960 and made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1961. Price was one of the Met's most popular stars for more than two decades and was the first African American singer to achieve an international reputation in opera. She gave her farewell performance of Aïda at the Met in 1985 but continued to give recitals.

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orig. Gladys Mary Smith

(born April 9, 1893, Toronto, Ont., Can.—died May 28, 1979, Santa Monica, Calif., U.S.) Canadian-born U.S. film actress. She acted with a stock company from age 5, went on tour at 8, and was performing on Broadway by 18. She starred in D.W. Griffith's The Lonely Villa (1909) and by 1913 was acting in movies exclusively. One of the first movie stars, she became a symbol of innocence and was known as “America's sweetheart.” Her silent films include Tess of the Storm Country (1914), Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917), Poor Little Rich Girl (1917), and Pollyanna (1920). A shrewd businesswoman, she formed United Artists Corp. (1919) with her second husband, Douglas Fairbanks, and others. She received an Academy Award for her first sound film, Coquette (1929). She retired from acting in 1933 and received a special Academy Award in 1975.

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(born March 25, 1925, Savannah, Ga., U.S.—died Aug. 3, 1964, Milledgeville, Ga.) U.S. writer. She spent most of her life on her mother's farm in Milledgeville, Ga. A devout Roman Catholic, she usually set her works in the rural South and often examined the relationship between the individual and God by putting her characters in grotesque and extreme situations. Her first novel, Wise Blood (1952), combines a keen ear for common speech, a caustic religious imagination, and a flair for the absurd that characterized all of her work. With the story collections A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955) and Everything That Rises Must Converge (1965), she was acclaimed as a master of the form. Her other work of fiction was the novel The Violent Bear It Away (1960). Long crippled by lupus, she died at age 39. The Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction is the preeminent American award of its kind.

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orig. Lady Mary Pierrepont

(baptized May 26, 1689, London, Eng.—died Aug. 21, 1762, London) English writer, the most colourful Englishwoman of her time. A prolific letter writer, Montagu is remembered chiefly for 52 superb letters chronicling her stay in Constantinople, where her husband was ambassador from 1716 to 1718. On their return, they introduced the Middle Eastern practice of smallpox vaccination into England. Also a poet, essayist, feminist, and eccentric, she was a friend of John Gay and Alexander Pope, who later turned against and satirized her. Among her writings are six “town eclogues,” witty adaptations of Virgil; a lively attack on Jonathan Swift (1734); and essays dealing with feminism and the moral cynicism of her time.

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(born June 21, 1912, Seattle, Wash., U.S.—died Oct. 25, 1989, New York, N.Y.) U.S. novelist and critic. She served on the editorial staff of the Partisan Review from 1937 to 1948. She began writing fiction at the urging of her second husband, Edmund Wilson. Her work is noted for bitingly satiric commentaries on marriage, the impotence of intellectuals, and the role of women in contemporary urban America. Her novels include The Company She Keeps (1942); The Group (1963), her most popular work; Birds of America (1971); and Cannibals and Missionaries (1979). She also wrote two autobiographies, Memories of a Catholic Girlhood (1957) and How I Grew (1987).

Learn more about McCarthy, Mary (Therese) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Mary Stuart

(born Dec. 8, 1542, Linlithgow Palace, West Lothian, Scot.—died Feb. 8, 1587, Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, Eng.) Queen of Scotland (1542–67). She became queen when her father, James V (1512–42), died six days after her birth. She was sent by her mother, Mary of Guise, to be raised at the court of the French king Henry II and was married in 1558 to his son Francis II. After Francis's brief rule as king (1559–60) ended with his premature death, Mary returned to Scotland (1561), where she was distrusted because of her Catholic upbringing. In 1565 the red-haired queen married her ambitious cousin Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, and became a victim of intrigues among the Scottish nobles. Darnley conspired with them to murder her confidant David Riccio. After the birth of her son James (later James I of England) in 1566, Mary was estranged from Darnley, who was murdered in 1567. Ignoring objections by the jealous Scottish nobility, she married James Hepburn, earl of Bothwell (1535?–78), a suspect in Darnley's murder. The rebellious nobles deserted her army at Carberry Hill and forced her to abdicate in favour of her son (1567). After failed attempts to win back the throne, she sought refuge in England with her cousin Elizabeth I, who arranged to keep her in captivity. Several uprisings by English Catholics in Mary's favour convinced Elizabeth to have Mary tried and condemned; she was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in 1587.

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orig. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, detail of an oil painting by Richard Rothwell, first exhibited 1840; elipsis

(born Aug. 30, 1797, London, Eng.—died Feb. 1, 1851, London) English Romantic novelist. The only daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, she met and eloped with Percy B. Shelley in 1814. They married in 1816 after his first wife committed suicide. Mary Shelley's best-known work is Frankenstein (1818), a narrative of the dreadful consequences of a scientist's artificially creating a human being. After her husband's death in 1822, she devoted herself to publicizing his writings and educating their son. Of her several other novels, the best, The Last Man (1826), is an account of the future destruction of the human race by a plague.

Learn more about Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin), detail, oil on canvas by John Opie, c. 1797; in the National Portrait elipsis

(born April 27, 1759, London, Eng.—died Sept. 10, 1797, London) English writer. She taught school and worked as a governess and as a translator for a London publisher. Her early Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787) foreshadowed her mature work on the place of women in society, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), whose core is a plea for equality in the education of men and women. The Vindication is widely regarded as the founding document of modern feminism. In 1797 she married the philosopher William Godwin; she died days after the birth of their daughter, Mary (see Mary Shelley), that same year.

Learn more about Wollstonecraft, Mary with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Marie Wiegmann

(born Nov. 13, 1886, Hanover, Ger.—died Sept. 18, 1973, West Berlin, W.Ger.) Pioneering German dancer. Wigman studied with Émile Jaques-Dalcroze and Rudolf Laban and made her debut in 1914. Only a few years later she began a stellar career as an innovative choreographer. Her impact on dance throughout the West was immense. Her students included Hanya Holm, who exerted a major influence on the development of American modern dance, and thousands of other original choreographers.

Learn more about Wigman, Mary with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Dec. 1, 1913, Weatherford, Texas, U.S.—died Nov. 3, 1990, Rancho Mirage, Calif.) U.S. singer and actress. She co-owned a dancing school in her native Weatherford, Texas, before moving in 1938 to New York City, where she won a small part in the musical Leave It to Me and became famous for her rendition of “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.” She appeared in movies before returning to Broadway to star in One Touch of Venus (1943). Martin originated the role of Nellie Forbush in South Pacific (1949–53) and later starred in Peter Pan (1954, Tony Award; television version, 1955), The Sound of Music (1959, Tony Award), and I Do, I Do (1966).

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or Mary Tudor

(born Feb. 18, 1516, Greenwich, near London, Eng.—died Nov. 17, 1558, London) Queen of England (1553–58). The daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, she was declared illegitimate after Henry's divorce and new marriage to Anne Boleyn (1533). In 1544 Mary was restored to court and granted succession to the throne. After becoming queen (1553), she married Philip II of Spain, restored Roman Catholicism, and revived the laws against heresy. The resulting persecution of Protestant rebels and the execution of some 300 heretics earned her the hatred of her subjects and the nickname “Bloody Mary.” She waged an unsuccessful war against France that in 1558 resulted in the loss of Calais, England's last foothold on the Continent.

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(born June 21, 1912, Seattle, Wash., U.S.—died Oct. 25, 1989, New York, N.Y.) U.S. novelist and critic. She served on the editorial staff of the Partisan Review from 1937 to 1948. She began writing fiction at the urging of her second husband, Edmund Wilson. Her work is noted for bitingly satiric commentaries on marriage, the impotence of intellectuals, and the role of women in contemporary urban America. Her novels include The Company She Keeps (1942); The Group (1963), her most popular work; Birds of America (1971); and Cannibals and Missionaries (1979). She also wrote two autobiographies, Memories of a Catholic Girlhood (1957) and How I Grew (1987).

Learn more about McCarthy, Mary (Therese) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Feb. 11, 1934, London, Eng.) English fashion designer. Specializing in youth-oriented fashions, she was responsible in the 1960s for the “Chelsea look” of England and the widespread popularity of the miniskirt and “hot pants.” After opening a successful boutique called Bazaar in 1957, she went on to mass-produce her designs on a multimillion-dollar annual scale.

Learn more about Quant, Mary with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Gladys Mary Smith

(born April 9, 1893, Toronto, Ont., Can.—died May 28, 1979, Santa Monica, Calif., U.S.) Canadian-born U.S. film actress. She acted with a stock company from age 5, went on tour at 8, and was performing on Broadway by 18. She starred in D.W. Griffith's The Lonely Villa (1909) and by 1913 was acting in movies exclusively. One of the first movie stars, she became a symbol of innocence and was known as “America's sweetheart.” Her silent films include Tess of the Storm Country (1914), Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917), Poor Little Rich Girl (1917), and Pollyanna (1920). A shrewd businesswoman, she formed United Artists Corp. (1919) with her second husband, Douglas Fairbanks, and others. She received an Academy Award for her first sound film, Coquette (1929). She retired from acting in 1933 and received a special Academy Award in 1975.

Learn more about Pickford, Mary with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Mary Jane McLeod

(born July 10, 1875, Mayesville, S.C., U.S.—died May 18, 1955, Daytona Beach, Fla.) U.S. educator. Born to former slaves, she made her way through college and in 1904 founded a school that later became part of Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Fla. She was president of the college in 1923–42 and 1946–47, also serving as a special adviser to Pres. Franklin Roosevelt. Prominent in African-American organizations, particularly women's groups, she directed the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration (1936–44).

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(born Feb. 28, 1797, near Buckland, Mass., U.S.—died March 5, 1849, South Hadley) U.S. pioneer in higher education for women. She studied at various academies, supporting herself from age 17 by teaching. Her success as a teacher and administrator, and the demand for the young women she had trained, led to her plan for a permanent instructional institution for women. The school she founded in South Hadley, Mass., opened in 1837 as the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (the forerunner of Mount Holyoke College), and she served as its principal until her death.

Learn more about Lyon, Mary (Mason) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Dec. 1, 1913, Weatherford, Texas, U.S.—died Nov. 3, 1990, Rancho Mirage, Calif.) U.S. singer and actress. She co-owned a dancing school in her native Weatherford, Texas, before moving in 1938 to New York City, where she won a small part in the musical Leave It to Me and became famous for her rendition of “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.” She appeared in movies before returning to Broadway to star in One Touch of Venus (1943). Martin originated the role of Nellie Forbush in South Pacific (1949–53) and later starred in Peter Pan (1954, Tony Award; television version, 1955), The Sound of Music (1959, Tony Award), and I Do, I Do (1966).

Learn more about Martin, Mary (Virginia) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Mary Elizabeth Mapes

(born Jan. 26, 1831, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died Aug. 21, 1905, Onteora Park, N.Y.) U.S. author. She began writing children's stories when she was suddenly widowed with two small sons. Her first collection, Irvington Stories (1864), was followed by Hans Brinker; or, The Silver Skates (1865), which became a children's classic. In 1873 she was named editor of the new children's magazine St. Nicholas; its success stemmed from her high standards, which attracted such writers as Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Rudyard Kipling.

Learn more about Dodge, Mary Mapes with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(flourished 1st century, Palestine; feast day July 22) Follower of Jesus and the first person to see the resurrected Christ. According to Luke 8:2 and Mark 16:9, Jesus cleansed her of seven demons. She accompanied him in Galilee, and she witnessed his Crucifixion and burial. On Easter morning she went with two other women to anoint the corpse, but the tomb was empty. Christ later appeared to her and instructed her to tell the Apostles that he was ascending to God. Popular tradition has long associated her with the repentant prostitute who anointed Christ's feet.

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(born Feb. 28, 1797, near Buckland, Mass., U.S.—died March 5, 1849, South Hadley) U.S. pioneer in higher education for women. She studied at various academies, supporting herself from age 17 by teaching. Her success as a teacher and administrator, and the demand for the young women she had trained, led to her plan for a permanent instructional institution for women. The school she founded in South Hadley, Mass., opened in 1837 as the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (the forerunner of Mount Holyoke College), and she served as its principal until her death.

Learn more about Lyon, Mary (Mason) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Mary Jane McLeod

(born July 10, 1875, Mayesville, S.C., U.S.—died May 18, 1955, Daytona Beach, Fla.) U.S. educator. Born to former slaves, she made her way through college and in 1904 founded a school that later became part of Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Fla. She was president of the college in 1923–42 and 1946–47, also serving as a special adviser to Pres. Franklin Roosevelt. Prominent in African-American organizations, particularly women's groups, she directed the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration (1936–44).

Learn more about Bethune, Mary (Jane) McLeod with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born April 30, 1662, London, Eng.—died Dec. 28, 1694, London) Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1689–94). The daughter of King James II, a Catholic convert, she was reared as a Protestant and in 1677 married to her cousin, William of Orange. They lived in Holland until English nobles opposed to James's pro-Catholic policies invited William and Mary to assume the English throne. After William landed with a Dutch force (1688), James fled, and Mary and William (as King William III) became corulers of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1689). Mary enjoyed great popularity, and her Dutch tastes had an influence on English pottery, landscape gardening, and interior design. She died of smallpox at age 32.

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orig. Mary Harris known as Mother Jones

(born May 1, 1830, Cork, Ire.—died Nov. 30, 1930, Silver Spring, Md., U.S.) Irish-born U.S. labour organizer. She was brought to the U.S. as a child in 1835. In 1867 she lost her children and husband (an ironworker) in a yellow-fever epidemic in Memphis, Tenn.; four years later she lost all her possessions in the great Chicago fire. She turned for assistance to the Knights of Labor, which led to her becoming a highly visible figure in the U.S. labour movement. She traveled across the country, organizing for the United Mine Workers and supporting strikes wherever they were being held. At 93 she was still working among striking coal miners in West Virginia. She actively supported legislation to prohibit child labour. She was a founder of the Social Democratic Party (1898) and the Industrial Workers of the World (1905). Her autobiography was published in 1925. She died at the age of 100 and was buried in the Union Miners' Cemetery in Mount Olive, Ill.

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(born May 22, 1844, Allegheny City, Pa., U.S.—died June 14, 1926, Château de Beaufresne, near Paris, France) U.S. painter and printmaker, active in Paris. She spent her early years traveling in Europe with her wealthy family. After attending the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1860–65) she later studied in Paris, copying Old Masters. In 1874 Cassatt chose Paris as her permanent residence and established her studio there. She shared with the Impressionists an interest in experiment and in the use of bright colours inspired by the out-of-doors. Edgar Degas became her friend, and at his request she exhibited with the Impressionists. She portrayed scenes of everyday life, particularly images of mothers and children, and was skilled at drawing and printmaking. Some of her best works were executed in pastel. Through her social contacts with wealthy private collectors, she promoted Impressionism in the U.S. and exerted a lasting influence on U.S. taste.

Learn more about Cassatt, Mary with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Mary Morse Baker

Mary Baker Eddy.

(born July 16, 1821, Bow, near Concord, N.H., U.S.—died Dec. 3, 1910, Chestnut Hill, Mass.) U.S. religious leader, founder of Christian Science. A daughter of Congregationalist descendants of old New England families, she married in 1843; her husband died the following year, and she married again in 1853. She suffered from ill health for much of her life. In the early 1860s she was cured of a spinal malady by Phineas P. Quimby (1802–66), who cured ailments without medication. She remained well until shortly after Quimby's death; in 1866 she suffered a severe fall and lost hope for recovery, only to be healed by reading the New Testament. She considered that moment her discovery of Christian Science and spent several years evolving her system. In 1875 she published Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which her followers regarded as divinely inspired. Having divorced in 1873, in 1877 she married one of her followers, Asa G. Eddy (d. 1882). The Church of Christ, Scientist was organized in 1879. Eddy established the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in 1881; she also founded three periodicals, notably The Christian Science Monitor (1908).

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orig. Mary Ann Evans later Marian Evans

George Eliot, chalk drawing by F.W. Burton, 1865; in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

(born Nov. 22, 1819, Chilvers Coton, Warwickshire, Eng.—died Dec. 22, 1880, London) British novelist. Eliot was raised with a strong evangelical piety but broke with religious orthodoxy in her 20s. She worked as a translator, a critic, and a subeditor of the Westminster Review (1851–54). Later she turned to fiction. Adopting a masculine pseudonym to evade prejudice against women novelists, she first brought out Scenes of Clerical Life (1858). This was followed by such classic works as Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Romola (1862–63), Felix Holt, the Radical (1866), and Daniel Deronda (1876). Her masterpiece, Middlemarch (1871–72), provides a thorough study of every class of provincial society. The method of psychological analysis she developed would become characteristic of modern fiction. With the journalist, philosopher, and critic George Henry Lewes (1817–78), a married man, she enjoyed a long and happy, though scandalous, liaison; their Sunday-afternoon salons were a brilliant feature of Victorian life.

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orig. Lady Mary Pierrepont

(baptized May 26, 1689, London, Eng.—died Aug. 21, 1762, London) English writer, the most colourful Englishwoman of her time. A prolific letter writer, Montagu is remembered chiefly for 52 superb letters chronicling her stay in Constantinople, where her husband was ambassador from 1716 to 1718. On their return, they introduced the Middle Eastern practice of smallpox vaccination into England. Also a poet, essayist, feminist, and eccentric, she was a friend of John Gay and Alexander Pope, who later turned against and satirized her. Among her writings are six “town eclogues,” witty adaptations of Virgil; a lively attack on Jonathan Swift (1734); and essays dealing with feminism and the moral cynicism of her time.

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orig. Mary Harris known as Mother Jones

(born May 1, 1830, Cork, Ire.—died Nov. 30, 1930, Silver Spring, Md., U.S.) Irish-born U.S. labour organizer. She was brought to the U.S. as a child in 1835. In 1867 she lost her children and husband (an ironworker) in a yellow-fever epidemic in Memphis, Tenn.; four years later she lost all her possessions in the great Chicago fire. She turned for assistance to the Knights of Labor, which led to her becoming a highly visible figure in the U.S. labour movement. She traveled across the country, organizing for the United Mine Workers and supporting strikes wherever they were being held. At 93 she was still working among striking coal miners in West Virginia. She actively supported legislation to prohibit child labour. She was a founder of the Social Democratic Party (1898) and the Industrial Workers of the World (1905). Her autobiography was published in 1925. She died at the age of 100 and was buried in the Union Miners' Cemetery in Mount Olive, Ill.

Learn more about Jones, Mary Harris with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Latin Ave Maria

Principal Roman Catholic prayer addressed to the Virgin Mary. It begins with the greetings spoken to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel and by her cousin Elizabeth in the Gospel of Luke: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.” A closing petition, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death,” came into general use by the end of the 14th century. Churchgoers who attend confession are often asked to repeat the prayer as penance for sins.

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Dame Edith Evans as Mrs. Ross in The Whisperers, 1967.

(born Feb. 8, 1888, London, Eng.—died Oct. 14, 1976, Cranbrook, Kent) British actress. She made her stage debut as Cressida in William Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida (1912) and joined the Old Vic company in 1925. One of the finest actresses of the 20th century, she appeared in London and on Broadway in plays by Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, and Noël Coward. She played Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest on stage and screen (1952). Her other films include Look Back in Anger (1959), Tom Jones (1963), The Chalk Garden (1964), and The Whisperers (1967).

Learn more about Evans, Dame Edith (Mary) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Mary Morse Baker

Mary Baker Eddy.

(born July 16, 1821, Bow, near Concord, N.H., U.S.—died Dec. 3, 1910, Chestnut Hill, Mass.) U.S. religious leader, founder of Christian Science. A daughter of Congregationalist descendants of old New England families, she married in 1843; her husband died the following year, and she married again in 1853. She suffered from ill health for much of her life. In the early 1860s she was cured of a spinal malady by Phineas P. Quimby (1802–66), who cured ailments without medication. She remained well until shortly after Quimby's death; in 1866 she suffered a severe fall and lost hope for recovery, only to be healed by reading the New Testament. She considered that moment her discovery of Christian Science and spent several years evolving her system. In 1875 she published Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which her followers regarded as divinely inspired. Having divorced in 1873, in 1877 she married one of her followers, Asa G. Eddy (d. 1882). The Church of Christ, Scientist was organized in 1879. Eddy established the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in 1881; she also founded three periodicals, notably The Christian Science Monitor (1908).

Learn more about Eddy, Mary Baker with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Amelia Earhart.

(born July 24, 1897, Atchinson, Kan. U.S.—disappeared July 2, 1937, near Howland Island, Pacific Ocean) U.S. aviator, the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean. Earhart worked as a military nurse in Canada during World War I and later as a social worker in Boston. In 1928 she became the first woman to cross the Atlantic in a plane, though as a passenger. In 1932 she accomplished the flight alone, becoming the first woman and the second person to do so. In 1935 she became the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California. In 1937 she set out with a navigator, Fred Noonan, to fly around the world; they had completed over two-thirds of the distance when her plane disappeared without a trace in the central Pacific Ocean. Speculation about her fate has continued to the present.

Learn more about Earhart, Amelia (Mary) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Dorothy Mary Crowfoot

(born May 12, 1910, Cairo, Egypt—died July 29, 1994, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, Eng.) English chemist. After studying at Oxford and Cambridge, she went to work at Oxford. From 1942 to 1949 she worked on a structural analysis of penicillin. In 1948 she and her colleagues made the first X-ray photograph of vitamin B12, one of the most complex nonprotein compounds, and they eventually completely determined its atomic arrangement. In 1969 she completed a similar three-dimensional analysis of insulin. Her work won her a 1964 Nobel Prize. She was chancellor of Bristol University (1970–88) and was known for her work for peace and international scientific cooperation. In 1965 she became the second woman ever awarded the Order of Merit.

Learn more about Hodgkin, Dorothy M(ary) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Mary Elizabeth Mapes

(born Jan. 26, 1831, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died Aug. 21, 1905, Onteora Park, N.Y.) U.S. author. She began writing children's stories when she was suddenly widowed with two small sons. Her first collection, Irvington Stories (1864), was followed by Hans Brinker; or, The Silver Skates (1865), which became a children's classic. In 1873 she was named editor of the new children's magazine St. Nicholas; its success stemmed from her high standards, which attracted such writers as Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Rudyard Kipling.

Learn more about Dodge, Mary Mapes with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Dame Edith Evans as Mrs. Ross in The Whisperers, 1967.

(born Feb. 8, 1888, London, Eng.—died Oct. 14, 1976, Cranbrook, Kent) British actress. She made her stage debut as Cressida in William Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida (1912) and joined the Old Vic company in 1925. One of the finest actresses of the 20th century, she appeared in London and on Broadway in plays by Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, and Noël Coward. She played Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest on stage and screen (1952). Her other films include Look Back in Anger (1959), Tom Jones (1963), The Chalk Garden (1964), and The Whisperers (1967).

Learn more about Evans, Dame Edith (Mary) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Agatha Christie, 1946.

(born Sept. 15, 1890, Torquay, Devon, Eng.—died Jan. 12, 1976, Wallingford, Oxfordshire) British detective novelist and playwright. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920), introduced Hercule Poirot, the eccentric Belgian detective who would appear in about 25 novels. The elderly spinster Miss Jane Marple, her other principal detective figure, first appeared in Murder at the Vicarage (1930). Most of her approximately 75 novels, such as Murder on the Orient Express (1933; film, 1978), were best-sellers; translated into 100 languages, they have sold more than 100 million copies. Her plays include The Mousetrap (1952), which set a world record for longest continuous run, and Witness for the Prosecution (1953; film, 1958). She was married to the eminent archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan (1904–78).

Learn more about Christie, Dame Agatha (Mary Clarissa) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Agatha Christie, 1946.

(born Sept. 15, 1890, Torquay, Devon, Eng.—died Jan. 12, 1976, Wallingford, Oxfordshire) British detective novelist and playwright. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920), introduced Hercule Poirot, the eccentric Belgian detective who would appear in about 25 novels. The elderly spinster Miss Jane Marple, her other principal detective figure, first appeared in Murder at the Vicarage (1930). Most of her approximately 75 novels, such as Murder on the Orient Express (1933; film, 1978), were best-sellers; translated into 100 languages, they have sold more than 100 million copies. Her plays include The Mousetrap (1952), which set a world record for longest continuous run, and Witness for the Prosecution (1953; film, 1958). She was married to the eminent archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan (1904–78).

Learn more about Christie, Dame Agatha (Mary Clarissa) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born May 22, 1844, Allegheny City, Pa., U.S.—died June 14, 1926, Château de Beaufresne, near Paris, France) U.S. painter and printmaker, active in Paris. She spent her early years traveling in Europe with her wealthy family. After attending the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1860–65) she later studied in Paris, copying Old Masters. In 1874 Cassatt chose Paris as her permanent residence and established her studio there. She shared with the Impressionists an interest in experiment and in the use of bright colours inspired by the out-of-doors. Edgar Degas became her friend, and at his request she exhibited with the Impressionists. She portrayed scenes of everyday life, particularly images of mothers and children, and was skilled at drawing and printmaking. Some of her best works were executed in pastel. Through her social contacts with wealthy private collectors, she promoted Impressionism in the U.S. and exerted a lasting influence on U.S. taste.

Learn more about Cassatt, Mary with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Amelia Earhart.

(born July 24, 1897, Atchinson, Kan. U.S.—disappeared July 2, 1937, near Howland Island, Pacific Ocean) U.S. aviator, the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean. Earhart worked as a military nurse in Canada during World War I and later as a social worker in Boston. In 1928 she became the first woman to cross the Atlantic in a plane, though as a passenger. In 1932 she accomplished the flight alone, becoming the first woman and the second person to do so. In 1935 she became the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California. In 1937 she set out with a navigator, Fred Noonan, to fly around the world; they had completed over two-thirds of the distance when her plane disappeared without a trace in the central Pacific Ocean. Speculation about her fate has continued to the present.

Learn more about Earhart, Amelia (Mary) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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