Author Information At the Circulating Library
Author: Lily Watson (1849–1932)
Alternate Name(s): Martha Louisa Green (maiden name); Watson (married name)
Biography: Martha Louisa "Lily" Watson was born in 1849 in Taunton, Somerset, the daughter of Baptist minister Samuel Gosnell Green (1822–1905). In her youth, the family moved near Leeds when her father became a tutor then president of Rawdon College. In 1870, she married solicitor Samuel Watson, a member of a prominent Baptist family. The couple lived in London and had several children. Watson's father joined the Religious Tract Society in 1876 and Watson began writing fiction for them within a few years beginning with Within Sight of the Snow (1890) which was first serialized in The Girl's Own Paper in 1884. She went on to write several more novels for girls and numerous articles for the R.T.S. Her most successful novel, The Vicar of Langthwaite (1893), was admired by Gladstone and depicted the religious controversies at a dissenting college based on Rawdon. One of the characters, Philip Hawthorne, is a fictionalized portrait of her father. Throughout her life, she was involved with church building and education reform efforts. Her husband died in 1921 and she followed in 1932.
References: British Census (1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911); DNB (Samuel Gosnell Green); The Literary Year-book (1911); Times (19 January 1932); A. C. Underwood, A History of the English Baptists (1947)