The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Author and friend assume name of Mr and Mrs Sholto Douglas

Mary Diana Dos (c1791 – c1830) was the illegitimate daughter of a peer. To make her own financial way in the world, the distinctly unattractive Mary assumed the male pseudonym of ‘David Lyndsay,’ in order to have her work published in Blackwoods Magazine and other such popular annuals. Her works included Dramas of the Ancient World (1821), which brought her to the attention of Mary Shelley and her circle. Shelley later helped Dods secretly remove to Paris, dressed in male attire, where she resided with her companion, Isabella Robinson, the couple assuming the names of ‘Mr and Mrs Sholto Douglas.’ Other works included a collection of Germanic fairy tales entitled Tales of the Wild and the Wonderful (1825). Her real identity was shrouded in mystery for well over a hundred and fifty years, and the noted traveller, linguist, and author, George Borrow (1803 – 1881), was long mistakenly thought to be identical to ‘David Lyndsay.’

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