Marie L. Shedlock was credited with re-establishing storytelling as an
art. Her two tours of America enduringly rooted storytelling in the public library.
Her remarkable performances inspired a
whole new group of young people to become
storytellers. She was born on May 5, 1854, in Boulogne. At the age
of 21, she began teaching at an English public school for girls: However, she
decided to retire from teaching at the age of 46 so that she could become a
professional storyteller. She arrived in America with a letter of introduction to
Mary Wright Plummer
that profoundly affected the development of library service to children.
During her performance at the Pratt Institute Library, Marie Shedlock drew of
the notice of another prominent children's librarian -
Anne Carroll Moore.
Her first tour of America lasted seven years. She returned to London to
share her American experiences with teachers in England. In 1915, Anne Carroll Moore convinced Marie Shedlock to return
to America for a second tour that would last five years. Marie Shedlock
inspired a number of people to become storytellers, including Ruth Sawyer
who would become America's foremost storyteller. Affectionately called the
"Fairy Godmother," Marie Shedlock taught her adult listeners that
storytelling could be used to introduce children to their literary heritage.