Skip to main content

Mansfield, Blanche McManus

MANSFIELD, Blanche McManus

Born circa 1870, East Feliciana, Louisiana; death date unknown

Also wrote under: Blanche McManus

Married Milburg Francisco Mansfield, 1898

Blanche McManus Mansfield was educated in New Orleans and studied art in Paris. An illustrator of books and periodicals as well as a writer, Mansfield was published in The Boys' and Girls' Journal and St. Nicholas Magazine; a dozen color illustrations were commissioned for Rudyard Kipling's Ballad of East and West (1899). Mansfield married an author in 1898, moved to New York City, and later lived abroad. Her last address was listed as 9 Rue Falguiere, Paris (1945).

Mansfield specialized in travel books for children and for adults, particularly women. She wrote and illustrated eight of the fifty titles in the "Little Cousin" series published between 1905 and 1911. One of the first examples of informational literature for children, the series was designed to introduce American middle-class children to geography and history by identifying with children in other parts of the world. Well-written and illustrated with drawings and photographs, Mansfield's "Little Cousin" books emphasized food, dress, and customs as well as manners. They were also a child's travelogues that described selected tourist attractions of each country.

Mansfield's adult travel books include Romantic Ireland written with M. F. Mansfield (1904) and The American Woman Abroad (1911). Romantic Ireland is more ambitious than a travel book: It discusses 19th-and 20th-century Irish literature and the accomplishments of the Gaelic League, considers social problems like emigration and the want of industry, and suggests a policy of reconciliation with England.

The American Woman Abroad offers advice on a range of topics involving life abroad: cost, servants, foreign marketing and shopping, women traveling alone, and social conventions. It is of interest to the social historian studying Americans abroad or middle-class European social life before World War I. The advice is practical and realistic. The book concludes with Mansfeild's description of three housekeeping experiences: in a cottage in Kent, in a country house in Normandy, and in a villa on the Mediterranean.

Mansfield's work as an illustrator influenced her work as a writer; her prose, like her excellent draftsmanship, is clear, economical, and attentive to detail. Although her travel books are not limited to landscape, Mansfield's painter's eye is responsible for their pictorial quality. Her insights into other cultures reflect a thorough familiarity with the people among whom she lived and wrote.

Other Works:

The Voyages of the Mayflower (1897). Bachelor Ballads (1898). Our Little English Cousin (1905). Our Little French Cousin (1905). Our Little Dutch Cousin (1906). Our Little Scotch Cousin (1906). Our Little Arabian Cousin (1907). Our Little Hindu Cousin (1907). Our Little Egyptian Cousin (1908). Our Little Belgian Cousin (1911).


Reference works:

Biographical Dictionary of Southern Authors (1978). Childhood in Poetry (1967). Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers from Colonial Times Through 1926 (1960).


Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Mansfield, Blanche McManus." American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present. . 23 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Mansfield, Blanche McManus." American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present. . (April 23, 2019).

"Mansfield, Blanche McManus." American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present. . Retrieved April 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.