Mary Augusta Ward

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Mary Augusta Ward
Mary Augusta Ward00.jpg
Born Mary Augusta Arnold
(1851-06-11)11 June 1851
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Died 24 March 1920(1920-03-24) (aged 68)
London, England
Pen name Mrs. Humphry Ward
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Thomas Humphry Ward
Children Arnold Ward
Relative(s) Tom Arnold (father)

Mary Augusta Ward née Arnold; (11 June 1851 – 24 March 1920), was a British novelist who wrote under her married name as Mrs Humphry Ward.[1]

Early life[edit]

Huxley and Arnold family tree.

Mary Augusta Arnold was born in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, into a prominent intellectual family of writers and educationalists.[2] Mary was the daughter of Tom Arnold, a professor of literature, and Julia Sorrell. Her uncle was the poet Matthew Arnold and her grandfather Thomas Arnold, the famous headmaster of Rugby School. Her sister Julia married Leonard Huxley, the son of Thomas Huxley, and their sons were Julian and Aldous Huxley.[3] The Arnolds and the Huxleys were an important influence on British intellectual life.

Mary's father Tom Arnold was appointed inspector of schools in Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) and commenced his role on 15 January 1850.[4] Tom Arnold was received into the Roman Catholic Church on 12 January 1856, which made him so unpopular in his job (and with his wife) that he resigned and left for England with his family in July 1856.[4] Mary Arnold had her fifth birthday the month before they left, and had no further connection with Tasmania. Tom Arnold was ratified as chair of English literature at the contemplated Catholic university, Dublin, after some delay. Mary spent much of her time with her grandmother. She was educated at various boarding schools (from ages 11 to 15, in Shifnal, Shropshire[5]) and at 16 returned to live with her parents at Oxford, where her father had a lecturership in history.[6] Her schooldays formed the basis for one of her later novels, Marcella (1894).[7][8]

On 6 April 1872, not yet 21 years old, Mary married Humphry Ward, a fellow and tutor of Brasenose College, and also a writer and editor. For the next nine years she continued to live at Oxford, at 17 Bradmore Road, where she is commemorated by a blue plaque.[9] She had by now made herself familiar with French, German, Italian, Latin and Greek. She was developing an interest in social and educational service and making tentative efforts at literature. She added Spanish to her languages, and in 1877 undertook the writing of a large number of the lives of early Spanish ecclesiastics for the Dictionary of Christian Biography edited by Dr William Smith and Dr. Henry Wace.[10] Her translation of Amiel's Journal appeared in 1887.

Career[edit]

Mary Augusta Ward, by Julian Russell Story, 1889

Mary Augusta Ward began her career writing articles for Macmillan's Magazine[10] while working on a book for children that was published in 1881 under the title Milly and Olly. This was followed in 1884 by a more ambitious, though slight, study of modern life, Miss Bretherton, the story of an actress.[10] Ward's novels contained strong religious subject matter relevant to Victorian values she herself practised. Her popularity spread beyond Great Britain to the United States. Her book Lady Rose's Daughter was the best-selling novel in the United States in 1903, as was The Marriage of William Ashe in 1905. Ward's most popular novel by far was the religious "novel with a purpose" Robert Elsmere,[11] which portrayed the emotional conflict between the young pastor Elsmere and his wife, whose over-narrow orthodoxy brings her religious faith and their mutual love to a terrible impasse; but it was the detailed discussion of the "higher criticism" of the day, and its influence on Christian belief, rather than its power as a piece of dramatic fiction, that gave the book its exceptional vogue.[12][13] It started, as no academic work could have done, a popular discussion on historic and essential Christianity.[10][14]

Ward helped establish an organisation for working and teaching among the poor. She also worked as an educator in the residential settlement movements she founded. Mary Ward's declared aim was "equalisation" in society, and she established educational settlements first at Marchmont Hall and later at Tavistock Place in Bloomsbury. This was originally called the Passmore Edwards Settlement, after its benefactor John Passmore Edwards, but after Ward's death it became the Mary Ward Settlement. It is now known as the Mary Ward Centre and continues as an adult education college; affiliated with it is the Mary Ward Legal Centre.

She was also a significant campaigner against women getting the vote.[15] In the summer of 1908 she was approached by George Nathaniel Curzon and William Cremer, who asked her to be the founding president of the Women's National Anti-Suffrage League. Ward took on the job, creating and editing the Anti-Suffrage Review. She published a large number of articles on the subject, while two of her novels, The Testing of Diana Mallory and Delia Blanchflower, were used as platforms to criticise the suffragettes.[16] In a 1909 article in The Times, Ward wrote that constitutional, legal, financial, military, and international problems were problems only men could solve. However, she came to promote the idea of women having a voice in local government[17] and other rights that the men's anti-suffrage movement would not tolerate.

During World War I, Ward was asked by United States President Theodore Roosevelt to write a series of articles to explain to Americans what was happening in Britain. Her work involved visiting the trenches on the Western Front, and resulted in three books, England's Effort - Six Letters to an American Friend (1916), Towards the Goal (1917), and Fields of Victory (1919).[8]

Death[edit]

Mary Augusta Ward died in London, England, and was interred at Aldbury in Hertfordshire, near her beloved country home Stocks.

Foundations, organisations and settlements[edit]

Associated activists in social change[edit]

Works[edit]

The cover of Milly and Olly, illustrated by Ruth M. Hallock and published by Doubleday, Page & Company in 1914

Fiction

Non-fiction

  • (1891). Address to Mark the Opening of University Hall.
  • (1894). Unitarians and the Future: Essex Hall Lecture.
  • (1898). New Forms of Christian Education: An Address to the University Hall Guild.
  • (1906). The Play-time of the Poor.
  • (1907). William Thomas Arnold, Journalist and Historian [with C. E. Montague].
  • (1910). Letters to my Neighbor on the Present Election.
  • (1916). England's Effort, Six Letters to an American Friend.
  • (1917). Towards the Goal [with an Introduction by Theodore Roosevelt.]
  • (1918). A Writer's Recollections.
  • (1919). Fields of Victory.

Articles

Miscellany

  • (1899). Joubert: A Selection from His Thoughts; with a Preface by Mrs. Humphry Ward.
  • (1901). The Case for the Factory Acts, Ed. by Beatrice Webb; with a Preface by Mrs. Humphrey Ward.
  • (1908). The Forewarners: A Novel, by Giovanni Cena; with a Preface by Mrs. Humphry Ward.
  • (1917). Six Women and the Invasion, by Gabrielle & Marguerite Yerta; with a Preface by Mrs. Humphry Ward.
  • (1920). Evening Play Centres for Children, by Janet Penrose Trevelyan; with a Preface by Mrs. Humphry Ward.

Translations

  • (1885). Amiel's Journal: The Journal Intime [2 vols.]

Collected works

  • (1909-12). The Writings of Mrs Humphry Ward. Houghton Mifflin [16 vols.]
  • (1911-12). The Writings of Mrs Humphry Ward. Westmoreland Edition [16 vols.]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Gwynn, Stephen (1917). Mrs. Humphrey Ward. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
  2. ^ Sutherland, John (1991). Mrs Humphry Ward: Eminent Victorian, Pre-eminent Edwardian. Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ Harris, Muriel (1920). "Mrs. Humphry Ward," The North American Review, Vol. 211, No. 775, p. 818.
  4. ^ a b Howell, P.A. (1966). "Arnold, Thomas (1823–1900)". Australian Dictionary of Biography 1. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  5. ^ Dickins, Gordon (1987). An Illustrated Literary Guide to Shropshire. Shropshire Libraries. pp. 74, 109. ISBN 0-903802-37-6. 
  6. ^ Jones, Enid Huws (1973). Mrs Humphry Ward. London: Heinemann.
  7. ^ Johnson, Lionel Pigot (1921). "Mrs. Humphry Ward: Marcella," in Reviews & Critical Papers. London: Elkin Mathews.
  8. ^ a b Dickins, Gordon (1987). An Illustrated Literary Guide to Shropshire. p. 74. 
  9. ^ http://www.oxfordshireblueplaques.org.uk/plaques/ward.html
  10. ^ a b c d Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition
  11. ^ Peterson, William S. (1976). Victorian Heretic: Mrs Humphry Ward's Robert Elsmere. Leicester University Press.
  12. ^ Phelps, William Lyon (1910). "Mrs. Humphry Ward," in Essays on Modern Novelists. New York: The Macmillan Company.
  13. ^ Maison, Margaret M. (1961). "The Tragedy of Unbelief," in The Victorian Vision. New York: Sheed & Ward.
  14. ^ Lightman, Bernand (1990). "Robert Elsmere and the Agnostic Crises of Faith," in Victorian Faith in Crisis: Essays on Continuity and Change in Nineteenth-century Religious Belief. Stanford University Press.
  15. ^ Fawcett, Millicent Garrett (1912). "The Anti-suffragists," in Women's Suffrage. London: T.C. & E.C. Jack, pp. 44-57.
  16. ^ Argyle, Gisela (2003). "Mrs. Humphry Ward's Fictional Experiments in the Woman Question," Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Vol. 43, No. 4, The Nineteenth Century, pp. 939-957.
  17. ^ Fawcett, Millicent Garrett (1920). The Women's Victory - and After: Personal Reminiscences, 1911-1918. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, Ltd., p. 42.
  18. ^ "WARD, Mrs. Humphry (Mary Augusta)". Who's Who, 59: p. 1835. 1907. 
  19. ^ Whitaker, Joseph (1906). "Agatha". Almanack, 1906. London. p. 390. 
  20. ^ Gore-Booth, Eva (1908). "Women and the Suffrage: A Reply to Lady Lovat and Mrs. Humphry Ward," Nineteenth Century and After 64, pp. 495-506.

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]