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MARY LINSKILL, THE WHITBY AUTHORESS.
An unpretentious Celtic cross on the north-east side of the chapel in Whitby Cemetery marks the resting-place of Mary Linskill, who, in the latter half of the last century, did much to endear Whitby to vast numbers of people by her books, which had a very wide circulation.
Miss Linskill was the daughter of Mr. Thomas Linskill, one of the town constables, and was born in Blackburn's Yard, Church Street on the 13th December, 1840. Her schooling was not extensive, since she left when she was about eleven, and at sixteen was apprenticed as a milliner to Mr. Charles Wilson, who carried on business at the east end of Whitby Bridge.
After completing her apprenticeship she went to a situation in Manchester, and thence to Newcastle, Staffordshire. She afterwards accepted a post as a school teacher at Hawksworth, Nottinghamshire. Later she took up duty as a governess at Derby; but she returned to Newholm, preferring the village as an alternative to the comparative bustle of the town. Her tendency towards literature was noticed early in life, and she was quite young when she saw her first story accepted.
Her first step on the ladder of fame came when the Editor of " Good Words," gave one of her stories in serial form; and from that time most of her work appeared month by month in that journal, which enjoyed great popularity. Her stories were all pretty, and there was always evidence of marked literary ability she had carefully cultivated and at all times maintained.
It must be admitted that they were somewhat sentimental, but there was in every one a pathos which gave distinct charm, and most of them illustrated the infinite capacity of woman for sacrifice. Her chief works were: " Tales of the North Riding," published in 1871; " Cleveden "; her more famous " Between the Heather and the Northern Sea," " A Lost Son," and " The Glover's Daughter," " A Garland of Seven Lilies," " The Haven under the Hill " — another great favorite and really representative work " Hagar," and " In Exchange for a Soul," and " Robert Holt's Illusions." " The Magic Flute " and " Carl Forrest's Faith " were lesser works which were much favored for reading by young people. She was no mean artist, and in particular loved to paint flowers. She died at her residence in Spring Vale in 1891, at the age of fifty.
As a result of trade difficulties during the war years and changes of fashion in Whitby none of her books are now being published