Mary Hastings Bradley

Mary Hastings Bradley (April 19, 1882 in Chicago – 1976) was a traveler and author. She was the mother of author Alice Sheldon ("James Tiptree, Jr."). Bradley was born in 1882 in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Smith College in 1905 where she majored in English. After graduation she traveled to Egypt with a cousin and was inspired to write “The Palace of Darkened Windows” and “The Fortieth Door” detailing the life of the veiled and secluded women of Egypt. Both of these stories were later made into film further giving audience to Bradley’s writings. While doing research for her book “The Favor of Kings” in Oxford she met her husband Herbert Bradley. Herbert Bradley was a lawyer; big game hunter, traveler and explorer who later helped found the Brookfield Zoo. They were married in 1910 and five years later they had a daughter Alice. In 1921 and 1922 Mary, Herbert and Alice traveled to the Belgian Congo with Carl E. Akley of the American Museum of Natural History, for specimens of the mountain gorilla for display in the museum. These expeditions were described in her books, “On the Gorilla Trail”, “Alice in Jungleland” and “Alice in Elephantland”.

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