Isabella Banks entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Isabella Banks was a prolific author first of poetry, then of journalism, and later of many novels. She was well-known as a regional novelist, setting many of her books in early nineteenth-century Manchester and the north of England. Her novels and poetry exhibit several instances of an overall belief in the march of progress, with strong messages about how England has advanced during the Victorian period, along with exhortations to the working class to improve their lot through hard work and duty.
25 March 1821 Isabella Varley (later IB) was born at a house in Oldham Street in Manchester. Bibliographic Citation link.
12 April 1837 At the age of sixteen, Isabella Varley (the later IB) published her first poem, "A Dying Girl to Her Mother", in the Manchester Guardian. Bibliographic Citation link.
By 5 February 1876 After previously serialising The Manchester Man in Cassell's Family Magazine, IB published it in volume form: it became her best-known novel. Bibliographic Citation link.
9 February 1878 IB's first contribution to the 'Notes and Queries' section of the newly founded Manchester City News appeared, entitled "Boggart Hole Clough" after an area in Manchester. Bibliographic Citation link.
February 1893 IB published her last two novels: Bond Slaves: The Story of a Struggle, about the Luddite Rebellion, and The Slowly Grinding Mills, whose title is borrowed from a line by Longfellow. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
5 May 1897 IB died at Dalston in London; she was buried next to her husband. Bibliographic Citation link.
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