Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie

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Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie
Anne Ritchie in May 1870
Anne Ritchie in May 1870
Born(1837-06-09)9 June 1837
London, England
Died26 February 1919(1919-02-26) (aged 81)
OccupationWriter
NationalityBritish
SpouseRichmond Ritchie
Children2
RelativesWilliam Makepeace Thackeray (father)
Isabella Gethin Shawe (mother)

Anne Isabella, Lady Ritchie, née Thackeray (9 June 1837 – 26 February 1919), was an English writer and the eldest daughter of William Makepeace Thackeray. Her several novels were highly regarded in their time and made her a central figure in the late Victorian literary scene. She is best remembered today as the custodian of her father's literary legacy, and for short fiction that places traditional fairy tale narratives in a Victorian milieu. Her 1885 novel Mrs. Dymond contains the earliest English-language use of the proverb "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for life."

Life[edit]

Anne Isabella Thackeray was born in London, the eldest daughter of William Makepeace Thackeray and his wife Isabella Gethin Shawe (1816–1893). She had two younger sisters: Jane, born in 1839, who died at eight months, and Harriet Marian (1840–1875), who married Leslie Stephen in 1869. Anne, whose father called her "Anny", spent her childhood in France and England, where she and her sister were accompanied by the future poet Anne Evans.[1]

She married her cousin Richmond Ritchie, seventeen years her junior, in 1877. The couple had two children, Hester and Billy. She was a step-aunt of Virginia Woolf, who penned an obituary of her in the Times Literary Supplement. She is believed to have inspired the character of Mrs Hilbery in Woolf's Night and Day.[2]

Literary career[edit]

In 1863, Anne Isabella published The story of Elizabeth with immediate success.

Several works followed:

  • The Village on the Cliff (1867)
  • To Esther, and Other Sketches (1869)
  • Old Kensington (1873)
  • Toilers and Spinsters, and Other Essays (1874)
  • Bluebeard's Keys, and Other Stories (1874)
  • Five Old Friends (1875)
  • Madame de Sévigné (1881), a biography with literary excerpts[3]

In other writings, she made unusual use of old folk stories to depict modern situations and occurrences, such as Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood.

She also published the following novels:

  • Miss Angel (1875)
  • From An Island (1877), a semi-autobiographical novella
  • Miss Williamson's Divagations (1881)
  • A Book of Sibyls: Mrs. Barbauld, Mrs. Opie, Miss Edgeworth, Miss Austen (1883)
  • Mrs. Dymond (1885; reprinted in 1890)

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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), "Anne Evans", p. 346.
  2. ^ Taylor, D. J. "Ritchie , Anne Isabella, Lady Ritchie (1837–1919)." D. J. Taylor: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. May 2006.
  3. ^ Foreign Classics for English Readers (William Blackwood & Sons) - Book Series List. Retrieved 3 June 2017.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Auerbach, Nina; Knoepflmacher, U.C. (1993). Forbidden Journeys. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-03204-3.
  • Martin, Ann (2006). Red Riding Hood and the Wolf in Bed Modernism's Fairy Tales. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-9086-9.
  • Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie (1999). Chapters from Some Memoirs. Adamant Media Corporation. ISBN 0-543-92098-4.
  • "Introduction" by Anne Thackeray Ritchie in Our Village, fully and openly available online in the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature Digital Collection
  • Garnett, Henrietta (2004). Anny: A Life of Anny Thackeray Ritchie. London: Chatto & Windus. ISBN 0-7011-7129-4.
  • Bloom, Abigail Burnham; Maynard, John, eds. (1994). Anne Thackeray Ritchie: Journals and Letters. Columbus: Ohio State Univ. Press. ISBN 9780814206386.
  • Aplin, John. The Inheritance of Genius – A Thackeray Family Biography, 1798–1875, Lutterworth Press (2010). ISBN 978-07188-9224-1
  • Aplin, John. Memory and Legacy – A Thackeray Family Biography, 1876–1919, Lutterworth Press (2011). ISBN 978-07188-9225-8
  • Aplin, John (editor). The Correspondence and Journals of the Thackeray Family, 5 vols., Pickering & Chatto (2011).

External links[edit]