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Marion Adams-Acton
Born Marian Adams-Acton
June 21, 1846(1846-06-21)
Brodick, Isle of Arran, Scotland
Died October 11, 1928 (aged 82)
London, England
Pen name Jeanie Hering
Occupation playwright, novelist
Nationality Scottish
Citizenship British
Writing period 1867 - 1894
Genres children's writing, travel writing
Spouse(s) John Adams-Acton, sculptor
Relative(s) illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Hamilton

Marian Adams-Acton (21 June 1846 – 11 October 1928) was a Scottish novelist. Most of her fiction was written with the pseudonym 'Jeanie Hering'.


Early Life and Education

Was born Marion Hamilton at Brodick on the Isle of Arran on the 21st June 1846, the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Hamilton and a local Island beauty, Elizabeth Hamilton. The Duke owned Brodick castle and one of the regular summer visitors was George Hering, a son of a German Baron and a popular landscape painter. He and his wife Caroline had lost their only child at the age of six and the Duke suggested they adopt Marion. Her mother was reluctant but was persuaded her daughter would get a much better start to life with this well off and well connected couple. They took her to London at around the age of four returning to their house, Ormidale, on Arran in the summer months. In London she was known as ‘Jeanie Hering’, the name she would use for her children’s books later in life. After receiving a good schooling to the age of sixteen she spent two years at a finishing school; Westphalia in Germany. After returning to London, the family were traveling to Arran by train for the summer when they were fortunate survivors of a train crash that killed hundreds. The Herings house in St John's Wood was in the midst of thriving artist community and it was no surprise that Jeanie married one of England's top sculptors, John Adams-Acton on the 10 August 1875.

Married Life

Shortly after their marriage they took a tour across Europe to India where they spent several months in Bombay. When they returned they settled in a house in Marylebone and latter St John’s Wood, where Jeanie became a mother to seven children. When both of her adopted parents died she inherited Ormidale (now a pub/hotel), which she always visited for some time in the summer. Her husband was a close friend of William Gladstone, and Jeanie in 1884 organised a large charity event with Mrs Gladstone called ‘The Bee’. She was looking for a new challenge in her life when her husband came home one day and announced that some friends had just walked from London to Dorset. Enamoured with this idea, she decided that the summer trip to Arran should be made that year on foot. Her husband quite reasonably objected on the grounds that his friends were just a couple, whereas she had six children, the youngest not even a year old; and of course Arran was considerably further than Dorset. Unperturbed she undertook the journey of 500 miles in about 7 weeks, with the poor nurse Ellen having to push the young child in a perambulator. The story of the journey became her last book, being published in 1894 as ‘Adventures of a Perambulator’. By the 1890s Jeanie was socializing in the highest circles with Kings, Queens and Prime Ministers, and although she wrote plays; one of which was performed at the Strand theatre, she wrote no more fiction. In 1908 her husband had serious injuries when he was knocked over by a car; a lingering illness resulted in his death at Ormidale in 1910.

Later life

All Jeanie’s boys survived the war and she herself lived to the age of eighty-two when she died in London on October 11 1928; her body being removed to Brodick on Arran, where she was buried in a small churchyard.




  • Garry: a holiday story. : By Jeanie Hering. 1867. London
  • "Little Pickles." A tale for children. : By Jeanie Hering. 1872. London
  • Truth will out. A tale. 1873. London.
  • Golden days. A tale of girls' school life in Germany. : By Jeanie Hering. 1873. London
  • Through the mist. 1874. London 3 volumes.
  • Honour and Glory, or hard to win. A book for boys. 1876. London
  • The child's delight A picture book for little children : By Jeanie Hering 1878. London
  • The town mouse : By Jeanie Hering . 1880. London
  • A banished monarch, and other stories. By Jeanie Hering. 1880. London, Paris and New York.
  • "Wee Lammie" [1880]. London
  • "Minnie's Dolls," [1880]. London
  • "A Rough Diamond." A Christmas story. [1880]. London
  • "Honour is my Guide,". 1886. London.
  • Elf. A Tale. 1887. London.
  • Put to the Test. A Tale. 1888. London.
  • The Child's Delight. [1890]. London.
  • Rosebud. 1891. London.

Non Fiction

  • The dog picture book. 1880. London
  • Pet Dogs. [1890].
  • Doggie's Own Book. [1890]. London.
  • Adventures of a perambulator. True details of a family history. 1894. London.


  • Pickering, Anna Victorian Sidelights. From the papers of the late Mrs. Adams-Acton. 1954. London. 288pp+ 8 leaves of plates.

Further reading


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