Charlotte Riddell aka Mrs J.H. Riddell (30 September 1832 – 24 September 1906) was one of the most popular and influential writers of the Victorian period. The author of 56 books, novels and short stories, she was also part owner and editor of the St. James's Magazine, one of the most prestigious literary magazines of the 1860s.
Born Charlotte Eliza Lawson Cowan in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Ireland on 30 September 1832, Riddell was the youngest daughter of James Cowan, of Carrickfergus, High Sheriff for the county of Antrim and Ellen Kilshaw of Liverpool, England.
In the winter of 1855, four years after her father's death, she and her mother moved to London. Charlotte was visited by death again the following year when her mother died. In 1857 she married Joseph Hadley Riddell, a civil engineer, originally from Staffordshire, but resident in London. It is known that they moved to live in St John's Lodge between Harringay and West Green in the mid-1860s, moving out in 1873 as the area was being built up.
Her husband died in 1880. Charlotte lived a lonely life thereafter until she died from cancer in Ashford, Kent, England on 24 September 1906.
Her publications included:
- The Haunted House at Latchford (aka Fairy Water) (1872)
- The Uninhabited House (1875)
- The Haunted River (1877)
- The Disappearance of Jeremiah Redworth (1878)
- The Nun's Curse (1888)
- Maxwell Drewitt (1879)
- The Earl’s Promise (1873)
- Frank Sinclair's Wife: And Other Stories (1874)
- Weird Stories (1882)
- Idle Tales (1887)
- Princess Sunshine: And Other Stories (1889)
- Handsome Phil: And Other Stories (1899)
- The Collected Ghost Stories of Mrs J H Riddell (1977)
Anthologies containing stories by Mrs J H Riddell
- The 7th Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories (1971)
- Victorian Tales of Terror (1972)
- The Penguin Book of Classic Fantasy by Women (1977)
- Gaslit Nightmares (1988)
- 100 Ghastly Little Ghost Stories (1992)
- The Mammoth Book of Haunted House Stories (2000)
- Banshee's Warning (1867)
- A Strange Christmas Game (1868)
- Forewarned, Forearmed (1874)
- Hertford O'Donnell's Warning (1874)
- Nut Bush Farm (1882)
- The Old House in Vauxhall Walk (1882)
- Old Mrs Jones (1882)
- The Open Door (1882)
- Sandy the Tinker (1882)
- Walnut-Tree House (1882)
- The Last of Squire Ennismore (1888)
- A Terrible Vengeance (1889)
- Why Dr Cray Left Southam (1889)
- Conn Kilrea (1899)
- The Rusty Sword (1893)
- Diarmid Chittock's Story (1899)
- Handsome Phil (1899)
- charlotteriddell.co.uk - impressively comprehensive source of information on the author.
- The Literary Gothic
- Works by Mrs. J. H. Riddell at Project Gutenberg (plain text and HTML)
- Works by or about Mrs. J. H. Riddell at Internet Archive (scanned books original editions color illustrated)
- Works by or about Mrs. J. H. Riddell in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Ellis, S M (1934). Wilke Collins, Le Fanu and Others. Constable.