Ellen Wood, 1814-1887

Portrait

Biographical note

English novelist, writing as “Mrs. Henry Wood,” was born at Worcester. She turned to writing to support her family, eventually writing over 30 novels, many of which, especially East Lynne, had remarkable popularity. Among the best known are Danesbury House, Oswald Cray, Mrs. Halliburton’s Troubles, The Channings, Lord Oakburn’s Daughters, and The Shadow of Ashlydyat.

Her works were translated into many languages. In a 9 March 1872 letter to his older brother Sergei, Leo Tolstoy noted that he was "reading Mrs. Wood's wonderful novel In the Maze".

In 1867, Wood purchased the English magazine Argosy, which had been founded by Alexander Strahan in 1865. She wrote much of the magazine herself, but other contributors included Hesba Stretton, Julia Kavanagh, Christina Rossetti, Sarah Doudney and Rosa Nouchette Carey. Wood continued as its editor until her death in 1887, when her son Charles Wood took over. At her death (caused by bronchitis) her estate was valued at over £36,000, then a very considerable sum.

Works

The Johnny Ludlow stories:

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