Lilias Trotter left behind the world of Victorian art and fame to serve God in Algiers. You may not know her name, but she left her mark on both the 19th century art world and North African missions. Meet this unsung missionary and artist in this issue of CH.
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You may not know the name of Victorian artist and missionary Lilias Trotter, but it’s a name worth learning. When Trotter was only in her twenties, famed 19th-century art critic John Ruskin told her he could launch her to fame, granting her a place among England’s greatest living artists– if only she devoted herself wholly to his tutelage and to art. Instead she pursued the call of God, working in England for a decade and missionary work in Algiers for decades more. She continued to paint, leaving an unequaled visual record of late 19th century life in Algiers. In the course of her life and work, she met, influenced, and was influenced by numbers of famous people in the Victorian world, leaving a legacy that you may not even realize belongs to her. She traveled with Ruskin, counseled sinners at D. L. Moody’s revivals, was one of the initial attendees at what became the famed Keswick meetings where she attended Hannah Whitall Smith’s Bible studies, discussed Middle East missions with John R. Mott and Samuel Zwemer, was pen pals for years with Amy Carmichael - and inspired the chorus “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Yet she never sought fame and was most happy traveling in the Algerian desert telling people about the love of Christ. Meet this unsung missionary and artist in the next issue of CH.
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