Isle of Wight Hidden Heroes

Acclaimed author and suffragist

Mary Gleed Tuttiett (1846-1923) was born and brought up in Newport. Despite debilitating ill health she received critical acclaim and supported the suffragist cause.

Largely self-educated, in early adulthood Mary travelled in England and Switzerland and for a time worked as a governess. However, the majority of her working life was spent as a writer suffered constant debilitating illness from asthma and rheumatism — reports described her as “a confirmed invalid” — that left her unable to leave her bed for more than two to three hours a day. She wrote lying on a sofa.

Critical success
Mary began her literary career by contributing essays, poems, articles, and short stories to various periodicals. Her first critical and popular success was with the 1886 novel ‘The Silence of Dean Maitland’. Tennyson praised the book, driving to Newport to meet her as her illness prevented her visiting him at his home.

Mary was also strongly interested in women’s rights, being one of a number of writers who petitioned in support of the Women’s Suffrage Bill in 1910, and such themes appear in a number of her novels.

Find out more
At an exhibition being held at Carisbrooke Castle Museum until the end of October 2018.

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At an exhibition being held at Carisbrooke Castle Museum until the end of October 2018.

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