|'Marys' in Literature
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row.
In this novel, a pretty Mary first appears as the housemaid of one Nupkins, mayor of
2. Set in Manchester in the 1840s, this Mary, the novels protagonist,
is the daughter of an active and embittered trade unionist.
3.In this book, a cultured Mary, along with her sister Diana and their brother, offers the destitute "Jane Elliot" food and shelter.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
4. This America Mary appears here as the fiancée of an amateur sculptor studying in Rome, a stay financed by a wealthy connoisseur who is struck by the artists genius and smitten by Mary.
Roderick Hudson bt Henry James
5. This Mary struggles from a morphine addiction that has lasted over two decades. Although she loves her husband, she often regrets marrying him because of the dreams she had to sacrifice of becoming a nun or a concert pianist.
Long Day's Journey into Night by Eugene O'Neil
6. Also known as "the Monkey," the Mary (Mary Jane) in this novel
has a neurotic need to submerge herself in her boyfriends Jewish identity in order
to reap some of the same family love that was missing from her life.
7. This Mary (Mary Frances) appears in the novel as the wife of Win, a CIA agent bent on creating an "electrifying event" that will bring the anti-Castro movement back to life.
Libra by Don DeLillo
8. In this British work, protagonist Mary, who suffers from amnesia, awakens in what seems to be a hospital and does not know who, where, or even what she is. Released into the world, she gradually begins to believe that she had been murdered in her prior (i.e., pre-amnesia) life.
Other People, A Mystery Story by Martin Amis
9. The Mary in this novel is dead, but may possess the spirit of her fellow servant, imprisoned for murder, to whom she was a confidante.
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
10. Constantine and the Vatican demonized this Mary and sought to degrade her, as recounted in this recent internationally best-selling novel.
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
|© TBR 2005
This story may not be archived, reproduced or distributed further without the author's express permission. Please see our conditions of use.
issue 50: October - December 2005
Donald Hays: Why He Did It