Mary Francis Chapman

1838-84; pseud. J C[alder] Ayrton, and Francis Meredith; f. worked in Excise in Dublin, where she was born, and later moved to London; precocious writer, parts of Mary Bertrand (1860), an insipid romance, written at 15; Lord Bridgenorth’s Niece (1982); Bellasis, Or the Fortunes of A Cavalier (1896), collaborated with her f. for Churchman’s Family Magazine; A Scotch Wooing (1875), in which an ‘English girl to the core’ is forced to live in Scotland (Lairg); Gerald Marlowe’s Wife (1876), her best, a melodramatic of routine marital trials; The Gift of the Gods (1879) published under her own name, is all flirtation, cross-purposes, marriages and a baby; A spinster, she lived and died in Kent. SUTH