Dinah Maria Mulock Craik, 1826-1887


Biographical note

English novelist and poet, often credited as Miss Mulock or Mrs. Craik.

After the death of her mother in 1845, Dinah Maria Mulock settled in London about 1846. She was determined to obtain a livelihood by her pen, and, beginning with fiction for children, advanced steadily until placed in the front rank of the women novelists of her day. She is best known for the novel John Halifax, Gentleman (1856), based loosely around the life of John Dobell, a wine merchant from Cheltenham. She followed this with A Life for a Life (1859), which she considered to be the best of her novels; others were The Ogilvies (1849), Olive (1850), The Head of the Family (1851), Agatha's Husband (1853), Hannah (1871), and Young Mrs. Jardine (1879).

Other works include Avillion and other Tales (1853), Christian's Mistake (1865), A Noble Life (1866), and The Little Lame Prince and his Travelling Cloak (1875). She published some poetry, narratives of tours in Ireland and Cornwall, and A Woman's Thoughts about Women (1858). ( An Unsentimental Journey Through Cornwall appeared in 1884.) Another collection, titled The Unkind Word and Other Stories, included a scathing criticism of Benjamin Heath Malkin for overworking his son Thomas, a child prodigy who died at seven.


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