DROWER, Ethel Stefana (née E. St. Stevens). London 1.12.1879 — 27.1.1972.Lady. British Autodidact Oriental Scholar and Anthropologist in Iraq.  Daughter of a clergyman, S. V. Stevens. Married 1911 with Sir Edwin Drower, who was judicial adviser in Iraq in 1921-46. They had one daughter, Peggy Drower (1911–2012, historian of ancient Near East and Egypt), and two sons.

Drower’s main line of study was the Mandaean religion. The evacuation of British women during WW II from Iraq to India gave her occasion to observe the Parsi rituals. Hon. D.Litt. Oxford. Hon. D.D. Uppsala.

Publications: The Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran: Their Cults, Customs, Magic, Legends, and Folklore. Oxford 1937; other writings on Mandaeism, editions of Mandaean texts.

– “The Role of Fire in Parsi Ritual”, JRAnthrInst 74, 1944, 75-89.

– As E. S. Stevens a number of romantic novels.

Sources: J.J. Buckley (ed.), Lady E. S. Drower’s Scholarly Correspondence: An Intrepid English Autodidact in Iraq. Leiden 2012 with photo; *R. Macuch, ZDMG 124, 1974, 6-12; *Chr. Müller-Kessler, Oxford D.N.B. 16, 2004, 193f.; Wikipedia.