Southall, Mary, fl. 1812—1825
by Benjamin Colbert
Mary Southall's origins are at present unknown. She married John Southall, organist of Worcester, and they relocated to Malvern in 1812, eventually transferring the local circulating library to their home at no. 1, Paradise Row. In 1818, Edward T. Foley, lord of the manor (to whom Descriptions is dedicated), purpose built a larger library with a 50-foot reading room, music room, and bazaar, in addition to the circulating library. The Southalls took proprietorship of this complex, the 'Library-House', as well as several apartments above known as St Edith's Lodging House.
It was at Library-House that Southall wrote her guidebook, although she credits her publisher George Nicholson (1760-1825; ODNB), 'the author of the "Cambrian Traveller's Guide" , for his friendly revisal of my manuscript' (Description, p. vi). Nicholson was located at Stourport, Worcestershire, from 1807 to 1825, taking advantage of the canal system to distribute his publications, hence the naming of Longman, Hurst & Co. as London agents for Southall's book.
Hembry, Phyllis May. British Spas from 1815 to the Present: A Social History. Ed. Leonard W. Cowie and Evelyn Elizabeth Cowie. Cranbury, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1997. 124-26. Print.
|A Description of Malvern||1822|