Neal, Mary


Neal, Mary
(1860-1944)
   Clara Sophia Neal (she became known as 'Mary' in 1888) began her philanthropic work in 1888 with the Wes-leyan Methodist Mission in West London, and in 1895 formed, with co-worker Emmeline Pethick, her own Esperance Girls' Club for working girls. In 1906, in search of activities to interest the Esperance girls, Neal approached Cecil *Sharp, who put her in touch with William Kimber, *morris dancer from Headington Quarry, Oxford, who visited the Club to teach the girls morris dances. Neal and her associates were captivated by the songs and dances, and almost immediately embarked upon a crusade with a view to founding a national *revival movement. Sharp and Neal were kept busy collecting, lecturing, writing, and organizing events, and the Esperance girls were soon travelling the country as teachers of morris dancing. For a while, Sharp and Neal worked together, but from 1908 rising tensions over artistic standards and the way the morris dance was taught and presented, resulted in a very public parting and the formation of two opposing camps which vied for control of the new movement. Sharp's side stressed the need for high artistic standards and for experts to collect and interpret the dances, while Neal was concerned with the good that the dances could do to raise the spirits and artistic sensibilities of the poor and was less concerned with standards. Several years of argument and manoeuvre followed, but by 1914 Sharp was beginning to win the day, partly because Neal had other interests to claim her attention, and after the First World War Neal did not return to the fray, leaving Sharp's *English Folk Dance Society firmly in control of the future of the dance revival. As history is written by the victors, Neal's contribution to the early revival has, until recently, been consistently underplayed, but her point of view has been echoed many times since by people in dance clubs and societies who react against the idea of rigid artistic control. After the First World War Mary Neal continued to devote her life to philanthropic causes, but took no further active part in the folk revival.
   ■ Mary Neal, The Esperance Morris Book (1910); Roy Judge, 'Mary Neal and the Esperance Morris', FMJ 5:5 (1989), 545-91.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mary Neal — CBE (5 June 1860–22 June 1944), born Clara Sophia Neal, was an English social worker and collector of English folk dances. She was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham to a prosperous family, but in 1888 began voluntary social work among the poor of… …   Wikipedia

  • Neal D. Barnard — Neal Barnard Born Fargo, North Dakota Nationality American Education M.D. Alma mater George Washington University School of Medicine Occupation …   Wikipedia

  • Neal Israel — Occupation Director, producer, writer and actor Years active 1973 present Spouse Amy Heckerling (1984) 1 child Neal Israel is an American actor, screenwriter, film and television producer and director best known for his comed …   Wikipedia

  • Mary Wayte — Personal information Full name Mary Alice Wayte Bradburne Nationality  United States Born March 25, 1965 …   Wikipedia

  • Neal Henry Gillespie — (January 19, 1831 – November 12, 1874) was an American Catholic religious figure. He was the brother of Eliza Maria Gillespie; born in Washington County, Pennsylvania; died at St. Mary s, Notre Dame, Indiana. He was one of the first students of… …   Wikipedia

  • Neal's Yard Remedies — is a leading independent British retailer of organic natural health and beauty products. Founded in 1981 in Covent Garden, London, they have 40 stores across the UK.[1] They also have branches in Japan[2] and the USA.[3] In 2009 they launched… …   Wikipedia

  • Mary Sweeney — Born January 1, 1953 (1953 01 01) (age 58) Madison, Wisconsin Years active 1983–present Spouse David Lynch (2006) Awards …   Wikipedia

  • Neal McCoy discography — Neal McCoy discography Releases ↙Studio albums 10 …   Wikipedia

  • Neal Walk — No. 41 Center Personal information Date of birth July 29, 1948 (1948 07 29) (age 63) Place of birth Cleveland, Ohio Nationality …   Wikipedia

  • Neal Flomenbaum — Neal Flomenbaum, MD Dr. Neal Flomenbaum is an emergency physician and a leading expert in emergency medicine and clinical toxicology. He is Emergency Physician in Chief at NewYork Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center; Medical… …   Wikipedia