Author Information At the Circulating Library
Author: Mabel E. Wotton (1863–1927)
Alternate Name(s): Mabel Elizabeth Emily Wotton (legal name)
Biography: Mabel Elizabeth Emily Wotton was born in 1863 in Brixton, the daughter of John Stirling Wilmot Wotton, a civil servant. Her older brother Thomas was a self-described dramatic author and her younger sister Edith was a publisher's reader. Wotton moved in literary and dramatic circles where she developed a life-long friendship with the author Israel Zangwill. (A fictional portrait of Wotton appears as the character "Margaret Engelbourne" in his novel The Mantle of Elijah  which the author dedicated to the Wotton sisters.) Her fictional works include A Pretty Radical (1890), A Girl Diplomatist (1892), and Day-Books (1896)—the latter work, through Zangwill's help, appeared in John Lane's Keynotes series. In addition, Wotton wrote a number of children's books, The Little Browns (1900) being her most popular. The 1890s were particularly difficult for Wotton: her father died in 1893 and her sister suffered a long illness before dying in 1897. Wotton's own health suffered from cardiac complaints and bad eyesight. She wrote H.B. Irving: An Appreciation (1912) before giving up literary work. Wotton never married and died in 1927. Her long correspondence with Zangwill survives (see Rochelson).
References: British Census (1881, 1891); Probate; Meri-Jane Rochelson, "The Friendship of Israel Zangwill and Mabel E. Wotton," English Literature in Transition, 1880–1920 48.3 (2005): 305–23; Times (5 March 1927)