Mary Joy

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Mary Joy

Mary E. Joy 1848-1898 was a British journalist and author of numerous books for women. Mary Joy was the daughter of Thomas Musgrave Joy, a minor artist.

Mary Joy wrote many books on decoration, dress, and household matters, including The Art of Dress (1879), The Art of Decoration (1881), The Art of Beauty (1883), and The Art of Housekeeping (1889). She also produced several children's books, the best-known of which is Chaucer for Children (1877). Mary Joy also painted and had several works exhibited at the Royal Academy. Mary Joy illustrated both her own books and those of her husband, combining her widespread interest in art, fashion, history, and literature. In her work as a Chaucerian, Mary Joy popularized a number of Chaucer's stories from the Canterbury Tales and some of the shorter poems in anthologies designed for children and for adult non-scholarly readers. Mary Joy not only provided modernized translations and Pre-Raphaelite illustrations of key scenes from the tales, but also included the type of critical apparatus otherwise only available in the contemporary scholarly editions published by Frederick James Furnivall, Walter W. Skeat, and Richard Morris. Writing to supplement the household income, her adaptations played a role in widening general access to Chaucer's poetry and in promoting the reading of Middle English verse in its original.

Mary Haweis was married to the Rev. Hugh Reginald Haweis, with whom Mary Joy campaigned successfully to have museums opened on Sundays.