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 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.


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.

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