Mary Lily Walker: The Forgotten Visionary


This biography tells the story of social work campaigner Mary Lily Walker, who dedicated her life to improving the lives of women and children in Victorian Dundee.  Her memory is no longer forgotten!

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This is the story of a remarkable woman from a city renowned for its strong women.  It is the story of a woman who not only brought national attention the desperate plight of women and children in late-Victorian Dundee, but who introduced social and healthcare reform to a city she held dear.  This book tells her story for the first time – her early life, her inspirations and the friendships that make her a treasured daughter of Dundee.  This is the story of a legacy that still survives one hundred years after her untimely death.  It is a story that has been too long in the telling.

Originally published by Dundee University Press in 2013, our team has featured this book at all our events.  We were part of the research team who worked to return Mary Lily Walker to her rightful place in Dundee’s memory, in time for the events marking the centenary of her death in 2013.  Our founder, Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk, describes Mary Lily Walker as “working to combat ACES in Scotland before anyone ever dreamed of ACES”.  We are pleased to help  make this unique biography, written by the talented storyteller Eddie Small, available to a wider public.

In 2015, Eddie Small wrote a play entitled The Four Marys about Dundee’s four change-making Marys.  Our team proudly attended its debut at the Verdant Works Museum.  Here is an excerpt from that play, performed by Amy Galloway in 2017, speaking the part of and dressed in the costume of Mary Lily Walker.

In 2016, Dundee opened its new Discovery Walk, featuring leading thinkers from the city’s history.  Mary Lily Walker was amongst them.  It felt a major achievement to have her memory so restored, given that until her Centenary of 2013, she had been virtually forgotten.  This clip from Abertay TV tells the story of behind Discovery Walk, including Mary Lily Walker’s inclusion within it.

1 review for Mary Lily Walker: The Forgotten Visionary

  1. Ruth Boreham, History Fan

    It is fantastic to have Mary Lily Walker increasingly talked about. She remains an inspirational woman, even from a century ago. My copy of this biography from Eddie Small is sitting on my desk next to me as I type. Everyone needs to know about this incredible woman!

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