She was born at Tavistock, Devon, the daughter of John Rundle, MP. Some of her youthful poems won the praise of Tennyson, who read them in manuscript. In 1851 she married Andrew Paton Charles. She was affiliated with the Anglican Church, and died at Hampstead, London, in 1896.
Her best known book, written to order for an editor who wished for a story about Martin Luther, The Chronicles of the Schönberg-Cotta Family, was published in 1862, and was translated into most of the European languages, into Arabic, and into many Indian dialects. Mrs Charles wrote in all over fifty books, the majority of a semi-religious character, as well as writing and translating a number of hymns. She took an active part in the work of various charitable institutions, and among her friends and correspondents were Dean Stanley, Archbishop Tait, Charles Kingsley, William Booth, Jowett and Pusey.
Her works include The Voice of Christian Life in Song; or, Hymns and Hymn-writers of Many Lands and Ages (1859), The Three Wakings, and Other Poems (1859), Wanderings over Bible Lands and Seas (1862), The Early Dawn (1864), Winifred Bertram and the World She Lived In (1866), Poems (1867), The Draytons and the Davenants (1867), Songs Old and New (1882), and Conquering and to Conquer/The Diary of Brother Bartholomew. Our Seven Homes (1896) is autobiographical. A number of her hymns appeared in The Family Treasury, edited by William Arnot (1808-1875).
- Around a Table, Not a Tomb
- Come and Rejoice with Me
- Is Thy Cruse of Comfort Wasting?
- Jesus, What Once Thou Wast
- Never Further Than Thy Cross
- Praise Ye the Triune God
- What Marks the Dawning of the Year?
Translations of Hymns
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- Dost Thou in a Manger Lie?
- Lo, the Day, the Day of Life!
- The Morning Kindles All the Sky
- A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth (Original: Paul Gerhardt, German)
- von Hügel, Friedrich (1897). "Impressions of Elizabeth Rundle Charles (1827-1896) [sic.]". Hampstead Annual: 52–62.
- Wanderings over Bible lands and seas. By the author of the "Schönberg-Cotta family." (1862), the full text, University of Michigan Library.