Selina Davenport

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Selina Davenport
Born Selina Granville Wheler[1]
27 June 1779
London, United Kingdom
Died 14 July 1859
Occupation Author

Selina Davenport (27 June 1779 – 14 July 1859) was an English author of the Romantic period. She wrote 11 novels and was married to Richard Alfred Davenport.

Early life[edit]

Selina Granville Wheler was born in London, United Kingdom on 27 July 1779, to Captain Charles Granville Wheler. At an early age, Selina met and later befriended Anna Maria and Jane Porter, who "both later to become successful writers in the early 1800s".[2] Of the two sisters, Selina was closest to Jane and the two women remained friends until Porter died in 1850.[1]

Marriage and career[edit]

On 6 September 1800, at the age of 21, Selina Wheler married Richard Alfred Davenport, a scholar and writer.[1] Richard and Selina had two daughters, Mary, born in 1803 in Chelsea, and Theodora, who was born in 1806 in Putney. Selina and Richard separated from each other around 1810.[3] Their separation was considered quite "acrimonious," however, the couple were never officially divorced and neither of them ever remarried.[2]

After the separation from her husband, which Davenport claimed had left her with next to nothing and no way to support herself, she began writing as a means of support for both herself and her two daughters.[1]

Accomplishments and death[edit]

Selina Davenport wrote a total of eleven novels. Her early works were published by the Minerva Press, and her later by A. K. Newman & Company.[3]

In addition to the eleven novels, Davenport supported her family financially in various business ventures, including running both a coffee house and a dance school.[2]

Selina Davenport died, aged 80, on 14 July 1859 following years of increasing poverty and ill health. Her body is buried at St. John's Parish Church, in Knutsford.[1]

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • An Angel's Form and a Devil's Heart: a Novel (1818)
  • Donald Monteith, the Hamdsomest Man of the Age: a Novel (1815)
  • The Hypocrite: or, The Modern Janus; a Novel (1814)
  • Italian Vengeance and English Forbearence: a Romance (1828)
  • Leap Year: or, Woman's Privilege; a Novel (1817)
  • The Original of the Miniature: a Novel (1816)
  • Personation: a Novel (1834)
  • Preference: a Novel (1824)
  • The Queen's Page: a Romance (1831)
  • The Sons of the Viscount. And the Daughters of the Earl: a Novel; Depicting Recent Scenes in Fashionable Life (1813)
  • The Unchanged: a Novel (1832)[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Cruikshank, Jaclyn (2006). "Biography at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln". Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  2. ^ a b c Watkins, Louise (May 1998). "Corvey 'Adopt an Author' Biography of Selina Davenport". The Corvey Project at Sheffield Hallam University. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  3. ^ a b Blain, Virginia (1990). Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy, ed. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. 
  4. ^ "Women Writers on the Web". Corvey. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 

Further reading[edit]

  • J.A.V. Chapple and Arthur Pollard, eds., The Letters of Mrs. Gaskell, Manchester University Press (1966) 1997.