Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall was born in 1876. Surprisingly little is known about her life, including where she was born and the date of her death. She concealed her gender using the initials "H.E." in her writing. Her most widely-read book, Our Island Story: A History of England for Boys and Girls was first published in 1905 and was illustrated by A.S. Forrest.
"I must tell you, though, that this is not a history lesson, but a story-book. There are many facts in school histories, that seem to children to belong to lessons only. Some of these you will not find here. But you will find some stories that are not to be found in your school books – stories which wise people say are only fairy tales and not history. But it seems to me that they are part of Our Island Story, and ought not to be forgotten, any more than those stories about which there is no doubt.
So, although I hope you will not put this book beside your school books, but quite at the other end of the shelf, beside Robinson Crusoe and A Noah's Ark Geography, I hope, too, that it will help you to like your school history books better than ever, and that, when you grow up, you will want to read for yourselves the beautiful big histories which have helped me to write this little book for little people.
Then, when you find out how much has been left untold in this little book, do not be cross, but remember that, when you were very small, you would not have been able to understand things that seem quite simple and very interesting to you as you grow older. Remember, too, that I was not trying to teach you, but only to tell a story." (from Our Island Story: A History of England for Boys and Girls by H.E. Marshall) The book continues to be used in schools and at home today.
Other of Marshall's books include Scotland's Story: A History of Scotland for Boys and Girls (1906), Beowulf: Translations (1908), The Child's English Literature (1909), A History of France (1912), This Country of Ours (1917), The Story of the United States (1919), and Kings and Things(1937).
Suggested sites for H.E. Marshall:Encyclopedia article about H.E. Marshall