Charlotte Maria Tucker (A.L.O.E.)
Charlotte Maria Tucker, a beloved Christian English writer of stories and poems for children and adults, wrote under the pseudonym A.L.O.E., which stands for “A Lady of England.” Many readers, young and old alike, have been blessed by her work as an author and teacher, even to this day.
Miss Tucker was born in Middlesex, England in 1821. She was the sixth child and third daughter of Henry St. George Tucker, a twice-elected chairman of the British East India Company; and Jane Boswell, daughter of an Edinberg writer. Charlotte Maria Tucker was educated at home, and enjoyed the companionship of her nine siblings and the pursuit of her many interests, which included writing, acting, and teaching. As a young girl, she was full of fun and vitality—she loved to laugh, sing and dance. In her father’s house, she met much of society, including notable men such as the Duke of Wellington and Lord Metcalfe.
In 1849, Miss Tucker began to visit and minister to the poor in the Marylebone workhouse. Her father died in 1851; from then on until 1869, Miss Tucker took care of her ailing mother. After the death of her mother, she took up the study of Hindustani. In 1875, Miss Tucker travelled to India, where several of her siblings have already resided in for some time.
Miss Tucker never married, and never had any children. However—as readers of her stories and works would understand and appreciate—Miss Tucker had a deep love for, and interest in, the hearts and minds of the young. Her writings convey moral lessons to readers of all ages, bringing attention to one’s great need for Christ, the importance of a living faith in Him and a steadfast pursuit after righteousness. Miss Tucker employed allegory, homilies, tales of adventure, Bible stories, lively, realistic characters and examples of daily struggles to communicate timeless truth of the Christian faith.
Since her childhood days, Tucker enjoyed writing stories and plays, primality for her own amusement. But because of her father’s opposition, none of her writings were published in his lifetime. Her first book, Claremont Tales; or, Illustrations of the Beatitudes, originally written for young children under her charge at the time, was published in 1852, and was well-received. Miss Tucker would go on to write a total of approximately 140 books, completing one to three books each year for the rest of her life—even during the years she spend on the mission field in India. Many of the 140 or more titles appeared in magazines before they became novels. All the proceeds of her work were donated to charity.
Miss Tucker was a teacher at heart. She taught young children in the destitute poorhouses in England; she led Bible Classes in the Boys School in India; she mentored and discipled Indian women; she wrote engaging and instructional stories for English children and Christian booklets for young Indians. Her most well-known work for Indians was Pearls of Wisdom, a book which explains Christ’s parables.
Not only did her writings touch the hearts and lives of those around her; Miss Tucker’s joy and peace, which she found in Christ and in singing and playing music to His glory, shone on her face in an her actions, and attracted all those who knew her.
Miss Tucker was fifty-nine years old when she stepped onto the mission field in India. She primarily served among the children and women of India. Her health weakened in the last few years of her life; a few weeks before her death, she fell ill with bronchitis. One of the last statements Miss Tucker uttered before her death were: “To depart and be with Christ is so very much better!” Christ was all to her; and she lived a life of service to Him with thankfulness and praise.
This determined, diligent, and devoted Christian lady and beloved author passed into glory in 1893. And what a legacy of godly, edifying, and wholesome books she has left behind for us who come after her!
“My position in life renders me independent of any exertions of my own; I pray but for God’s blessing upon my attempts to instruct His lambs in the things which concern their everlasting welfare.”
Charlotte Maria Tucker (A.L.O.E.)