Anna Harriett Drury

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Anna Harriett Drury (also Harriet, 1824–1912)[1] was an English novelist who wrote "conventional romances, with a few sharp observations on the role of unattached women in their relatives' houses".[2] She also published poetry, and novels distinguished as "for boys".


Anna Drury's birth is recorded in the 1901 census return as in 1824 in Harrow, Middlesex.[3] Her father, Rev. William James Joseph Drury, and her grandfather, Rev. Mark Drury, had both taught at Harrow School, but they left sizeable debts when they withdrew in 1826.[2] Through this Harrow connection, Drury became friends with Anthony Trollope, who later helped her in her literary work.[1]

Her father then became chaplain to King Leopold I of Belgium. It was in Brussels that Anna Harriett first met Frances Trollope, with whose family the Drurys were friendly. By then Anna Drury knew Greek and some Hebrew and had begun writing as a child.[2]

After a period in London, Anna Drury moved to Torquay in 1866, where she became a close friend of Frances Mary Peard.[2] The 1901 census return gives as her occupation "living by her own means (author)". She and two probable sisters, Jane Emily and Sarah Frances, were boarders in a house that may have belonged to Thomas and Jane Tothill, who are also listed as resident there.[3]

Anna Harriett Drury never married and died in Newton Abbot in June 1912.[1]


Drury's "conventional romances" and other works included Annesley, and other poems (1847), Friends and Fortune, a moral tale (1849), Light and Shade: or, the Young Artist. A tale (1853), Misrepresentation (1859), The Story of a Shower (1872), Gabriel's Appointment (1877), Called to the Rescue (1879) and In the Enemy's Country; or, the Raven of Steinbrück. A story of 1813, etc. (1891) Some are marked "for boys".[4]

Numerous books of Drury's are available in facsimile reprints, original editions,[5] and as free downloads.[6]

In The Normans..., the heroine pointedly asks her father, "What becomes of clergymen's daughters when their fathers die, and their homes are broken up?" (Vol. I, p. 29, quoted in Feminist...)

Partial list of works[edit]

  • Friends and Fortune: A Moral Tale, 1 vol. London: William Pickering, 1849
  • Eastbury: A Tale, 1 vol. London: William Pickering, 1851
  • Light and Shade: or, The Young Artist, A Tale. 1 vol. London: William Pickering, 1853
  • The Blue Ribbons: A Story of the Last Century, 1 vol. London: Kerby and Son, 1855
  • Misrepresentation: A Novel, 2 vols. London: John W. Parker, 1859
  • Deep Waters: A Novel, 3 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1863
  • The Brothers: A Novel, 2 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1865
  • The Three Half-Crowns: A Story for Boys, 1 vol. London: SPCK, 1866
  • Richard Rowe's Parcel: A Story for Boys, 1 vol. London: SPCK, 1868
  • The Normans: or, Kith and Kin, 2 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1870
  • The Story of a Shower: A Novel, 2 vols. London: Bentley, 1872
  • Ellen North's Crumbs, 1 vol. London: SPCK, 1873
  • Furnished Apartments, 3 vols. London: Bentley, 1875
  • Gabriel's Appointment: A Novel, 3 vols. London: Bentley, 1877
  • Called to the Rescue, 3 vols. London: Bentley, 1879
  • In the Enemy's Country: or, The Raven of Steinbrück. A Story of 1813, 1 vol. London: Griffith and Farran, 1891[1]


  1. ^ a b c d At the Circulating Library Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Virginia Blain, Patricia Clements and Isobel Grundy: The Feminist Companion to Literature in English. Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present Day (London: Batsford, 1990), p. 310.
  3. ^ a b Wikisource page Retrieved 22 April 2018.[unreliable source?]
  4. ^ British Library catalogue Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  5. ^ E. g. at Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  6. ^ E. g. Eastbury (1851) Retrieved 22 April 2018.