Anne Beale

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Anne Beale (1816-1900), as depicted in a 1901 issue of Girls' Own Paper

Anne Beale (1816 – 17 April 1900) was a popular English novelist and poet, based in Wales. Her poetry, novels, and stories appeared in print for more than fifty years during her lifetime, "an unusually long career as an author".[1]


Anne Beale was born at Langport, Somerset.[2] She was educated at Bath by "Madame de Bellecour." Her older sister Elizabeth Compton Beale was a singer by training.[3]

Beale lived near Llandeilo in Carmarthenshire from 1841,[4] at first working as a governess for the family of an Anglican clergyman. Her income from writing eventually allowed her to make it her full-time profession, instead of being a supplement to her teaching income.[1] Late in life she moved to London, where she died at 68 Belsize Road, South Hampstead, in April 1900.[5] As well as her girls' stories and a volume of poetry, she contributed Welsh-interest articles and poems to English and Scottish magazines.[4]


Her depictions of Wales and the Welsh were admired for their sympathy and attention to detail; said one Welsh newspaper in 1869, "She knows the country well, and her descriptions of its scenery, its institutions, its people are severely truthful but, at the same time, so skilfully done, and with so much warmth and character as to captivate every person who cares to read one of the best and ablest novels of the season."[6] Years later, however, an American reviewer called Beale's novel Simplicity and Fascination "old-fashioned... bulky, verbose, full of stilted dialogue and verbose explanations."[7]

Selected works[edit]

  • Traits and Stories of the Welsh Peasantry (1849)[8]
  • The Baronet's Family (1852)[9]
  • Simplicity and Fascination (1855)[10]
  • Gladys the Reaper (1860)[11]
  • Nothing Venture, Nothing Have (1864)
  • Rose Mervyn of Whitelake (1879)
  • The Queen O'the May (1881)
  • The Pennant Family (1885)[12]
  • Courtleroy (1887)[13]
  • Old Gwen (1888)
  • Charlie is My Darling (1891)

Gladys of Harlech (1858) and Country Landlords (1860) are both attributed to Anne Beale, but the title page of the original edition gives the author's name as "L.M.S", and the true author is believed to be L. M. Spooner.[14]


  1. ^ a b Jane Aaron, Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing in Wales: Nation, Gender and Identity (University of Wales Press 2010): 123-124. ISBN 9780708322871
  2. ^ Reading Wales - Uncovering 19th Century Welsh Writers in English. Accessed 12 July 2014
  3. ^ "Anne Beale, Governess and Writer: Extracts from her Diary" Girls' Own Paper (1901): 4-6.
  4. ^ a b William Williams, "Anne Beale" Dictionary of Welsh Biography (National Library of Wales 2009).
  5. ^ "Death of Anne Beale" Winnipeg Tribune (21 April 1900): 1. via Newspapers.comopen access publication – free to read
  6. ^ "Country Courtships: A New Novel by Miss Beale of Llandilo" The Welshman (22 October 1869): 6.
  7. ^ Brief review of Anne Beale, Simplicity and Fascination, in San Francisco Chronicle (30 April 1893): 6. via Newspapers.comopen access publication – free to read
  8. ^ Anne Beale, Traits and Stories of the Welsh Peasantry (George Routledge 1849).
  9. ^ Anne Beale, The Baronet's Family (Thomas Cautley Newby, 1852, in 3 vol.)
  10. ^ Anne Beale, Simplicity and Fascination (R. Bentley 1855, in 3 vol.)
  11. ^ Anne Beale, Gladys the Reaper (R. Bentley 1860, in 3 vol.)
  12. ^ Anne Beale, The Pennant Family (Hodder & Stoughton 1885).
  13. ^ Anne Beale, Courtleroy (Hurst & Blackett 1887, in 3 vol.).
  14. ^ At the Circulating Library: a Database of Victorian Fiction 1837-1901

External links[edit]