Love that was Stronger – Lilias Trotter of Algiers

I.R. Govan Stewart, The Love That Was Stronger. Lilias Trotter of Algiers

The story of the pioneer missionary Lilias Trotter, who travelled in North Africa where no white woman had before gone, begins in the days when Moody and Sankey stirred Britain and America with virile spiritual life. The unfolding of her experience which reached to the deep things of God,and the beauty of her life should be known to a generation which is characterised by breadth rather than depth of knowledge. The real fascination of the story is the strength of her love for the Son of God.

From the dustjacket

The work in North Africa begun by the Algiers Mission Band continues through AWM-Pioneers: inspiring people with news of how God is moving in the hearts of Muslims across the Arab world; encouraging people to join in with God’s Kingdom purposes and get involved in cross-cultural ministry. This copyright work appears by permission of AWM-Pioneers.

I.R. Govan Stewart, The Love That Was Stronger. Lilias Trotter of Algiers. London: Algiers Mission Band, 1958. Hbk. pp.96. [Click here to visit the download page]


  • Preface
  1. A Victorian Upbringing
  2. A Spiritual Experience
  3. Adventuring in Algiers
  4. Challenging Islam
  5. The Lure of the Desert
  6. Out of Death—Life
  7. Traveller and Mystic
  8. Thirty Years Retrospect
  9. Dar Naama
  10. Retrieval and Advance
  11. Triumph

Biography of Isabella Lilias Trotter, founder of the Algiers Mission Band

Lilias Trotter at 27

This is one of the standard biographies of Isabella Lilias Trotter (1853-1928), who was recently featured as part of the SOAS Archives and Special Collections Women’s History Month. The SOAS now holds the archive of the Algiers Mission Team and Lilias Trotter’s works. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing a copy of the book for digitisation. This title is in the public domain.

Blanche Anne Frances Pigott [1849-1930], I. Lilias Trotter, Founder of the Algiers Mission Band. London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, [1930]. Hbk. pp.245. [Click to visit the download page]


  • Foreword
  1. Early Years
  2. Coniston, 1879
  3. Algiers, 1888-1890
  4. Second Journey to Africa, 1890
  5. Rue du Croissant, 1893 and 1894
  6. Itinerating, 1895
  7. 1896-1899
  8. Tolga, 1900-1901
  9. Tract-Writing and Translating, 1902-1904
  10. Da Naama, El-Biar, 1905 and 1906
  11. Blida and Bousaada, 1907
  12. Translating – Sweden, 1908, 1909, and 1910.
  13. Opening Slum Post, Shushan Palace, and Egypt, 1911, 1912, and 1913
  14. South Lands and the Great War, 1914-1916
  15. South Lands, 1917
  16. The Home Call of Blanche Haworth, 1918 and 1919
  17. Itinerating in Tunisia, 1920-1922
  18. Among the Mystics of the South, 1923
  19. The Conference on the Mount of Olives,1924
  20. The Close of Rue du Croisaant – Opening of Bousada – The Nile Mission Press at Dar Naama, 1925
  21. Narrowing of the Pathway, 1926
  22. Home, 1927 and 1928

More material on this missionary is available on the Isabella Lilias Trotter page.

Chapter 1: Early Years

Lilias was the seventh in the family of nine, her father having four sons and two daughters by his first wife Jaqueline, daughter of Bishop Otter.

Coutts, the eldest, took Orders and became Senior Fellow, and, later, Vice-Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. William, like his father, became a partner of Capel & Co. Henry, afterwards Lt.-Colonel Sir Henry Trotter, K.C.M.G., C.B., R.E., went out to India in I 860 in the Royal Engineers, and, after a varied and distinguished career, became Consul-General at Beyrout for Palestine and Syria. Later he was on the Danube Commission with a house at Galatz, in Roumania, where he lived with his wife and daughters until he retired. Edward started early in life as Vicar of Alnwick and Chaplain to the Duke of Northumberland. Later he devoted himself to work in the Colonies. He belonged to the pioneer type of Churchman, preferring the outposts of civilization to a settled parish….

Between the Desert and the Sea by Isabelle Lilias Trotter

I. Lilias Trotter, Between the Desert and the Sea (with 16 paintings).Isabella Lilias Trotter [1853-1928] was a noted watercolour artist, who having attended several of the Keswick Conventions, became a missionary in North Africa. She was one of the founder members of the Algier Mission Band, which, as the Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions notes, “…became part of the North Africa Mission, which continues to the present day, now as Arab World Ministries.” [p.680]

This present volume contains 16 stunning pages of watercolours, which I have scanned in full-colour. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing a copy of the book for digitisation. This title is in the public domain

I. Lilias Trotter, Between the Desert and the Sea (with 16 paintings). London & Edinburgh: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, Ltd., n.d. Hbk. pp.63. [Click to download complete book in PDF]


  • Foreword
  1. The Remains of the Pirate City
  2. Behind Blida
  3. Away West
  4. A Stronghold of Marabouts
  5. South by East
  6. A Town of Harlequins
  7. The Land of Palm Branches
  8. Moslem Mystics
  9. The Land of the Buried River
  10. Retrieval


It is stirring after an age-long sleep, this land framed in between the gold of the desert and the azure of the sea. Fifty years back it was hardly known except to the French officials and colonists who were bravely reducing it to order. Fifty years back again, and it was a Corsair State, living in medieval conditions.

Suddenly, since the war days closed, the surrounding lands have also awakened to the fact that it may have a future as well as a past. Tourists have realized that it is only twenty-eight hours from Marseilles, and the nearest viewpoint for an Eastern setting. Explorers have discovered that it is a rare starting-point for the penetration of the Sahara and its secrets. And the Church of Christ has begun to see that it is not an agglomeration of backward Moslem races, but a strategic centre.

So we ask you to come and look at it. The colour pages and the letterpress are with one and the same intent-to make you see. Many things begin with seeing in this world of ours. [Continue reading]

Gospel in North Africa

John Rutherford [1816-1866] & Edward H. Glenny [1853-1926], The Gospel in North Africa in Two Parts

This large-format and profusely illustrated book provides a unique record of missions work across North Africa up to the end of the 19th Century. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy of the book to digitise. This book is in the public domain.

John Rutherford [1816-1866] & Edward H. Glenny [1853-1926], The Gospel in North Africa in Two Parts. London: Peter Lund, 1900. Hbk. pp.248. [Click to download the complete book in PDF]



Part I – John Rutherford

The Countries of North Africa
The Peoples of North Africa

Part II – Edward H. Glenny

A Sketch of the North Africa Mission
The Origin of the North Africa Mission
Establishment of the Mission to the Kabyles
Reorganisation of the Mission
The Mission’s New Developments
The Progress of the Algerian Mission
The Work of Others in Algeria
The Morocco Mission
The Tunisian Mission
The Tripoli Mission
The Mission in Arabia and Egypt
Summary of Methods of Work Adopted
The Mission Base in England
Results and Conclusion

Preface to Part I.

“Mohammedans,” writes Dr. George Smith, “are a people with whom apostasy is death, who have made Christendom feel their prowess for centuries, who have steadily advanced and rarely retreated, who up to this hour have yielded the fewest converts to the Gospel, and have attracted the fewest missionaries to attempt their evangelisation, even in British India, where toleration is assured.”

To a superficial observer Mohammedanism appears to show piety, dignity, sobriety, sincerity, and great moral worth. But let the traveller frequent their company, and Moslems are found to be false, vicious, and grasping; do business with them, and they will unblushingly cheat and rob; fall under their power as a wife or daughter must, and they will extract all the labour and profit possible, and then the victim is cast off like an old shoe. While the name of God is in constant use, and prayers and fastings are practised everywhere, depravity, deceit, and heartlessness abound. Certainly there are exceptions, but the character of the religion is even more degrading than has been described. It is essentially selfish and full of loopholes for sin. [Continue reading]

Christine Isabel Tinling’s Budget From Barbary

Christine Isabel Tinling [1869-1943], A Budget From BarbaryThis little book contains twelve letters about missionary work in “Barbary” – modern day Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. This copy originally formed part of the North Africa Mission library in Rabat. Yorkshire-born Christine Tinling [1867-1943] was a missionary with the  Women’s Christian Temperance Union was the author of numerous books on missions and also served in the Far East and India.

Christine Isabel Tinling [1869-1943], A Budget From Barbary. London: Richard J. James, 1933. Pbk. pp.153. [Download complete book in PDF].


  1. The Ministry of Medicine
  2. The Message in the Market
  3. Among Veiled Women
  4. Snaps From a City
  5. An Industrial Effort
  6. Aboutt he Kabyles
  7. Fishing For Men
  8. Handicaps
  9. Jew and Gentile
  10. Many Adversaries
  11. The Foreign Legion
  12. The Cost of Confession

Extract from pages 12-13.

The women particularly need that sympathy. It is terrible to see what they suffer, often so unnecessarily, from inefficient native midwifery. One girl lying there has been through five operations and has been cast off by her husband. If she gets well, her people will be marrying her to somebody else. As long as she remains in that hospital bed she is an individual, a soul to be loved and helped. When she leaves she will once more become a chattel and a slave. She is much interested in the Gospel and knows the choruses and hymns by heart and nurse says she is wonderfully sweet and patient.

Another has suffered much agony without a word of complaint and is an example to all in the ward. In a nearby bed is a girl of twenty who is married to a man of seventy and is in hospital on account of brutal treatment from native midwives. The Moslem women are born to trouble and expect nothing else from life. They have learned to endure silently and I suppose no-one has any idea what they do go through, except the medical missionary and the nurse. [Continue reading]