Mary Augusta Ward, 1851-1920

Portrait

Biographical note

British novelist who wrote under her married name as Mrs Humphry Ward. Ward's novels contained strong religious subject matter relevant to Victorian values she herself practised. Her popularity spread beyond Great Britain to the United States. Her book Lady Rose's Daughter was the best-selling novel in the United States in 1903, as was The Marriage of William Ashe in 1905. Ward's most popular novel by far was the religious "novel with a purpose" Robert Elsmere, which portrayed the emotional conflict between the young pastor Elsmere and his wife, whose over-narrow orthodoxy brings her religious faith and their mutual love to a terrible impasse; but it was the detailed discussion of the "higher criticism" of the day, and its influence on Christian belief, rather than its power as a piece of dramatic fiction, that gave the book its exceptional vogue.

© 2016 The University of Adelaide
Last Modified 08/01/2016
CRICOS Provider Number 00123M
Share      
Service Charter | Copyright | Privacy | Disclaimer