Isabella Neil Harwood entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Isabella Neil Harwood is now virtually unknown as an author, despite the popularity of some of her sensation novels and plays. Her career began in 1864 when she published the novel Abbot's Cleve or, Can it be Proved? Her four later novels did not name her but referred to her only as the author of previous works. The two most successful were Raymond's Heroine, 1867, and Kathleen, 1868. She kept her fiction completely separate from her fourteen poetical dramas (many of them historical), published under the pseudonym 'Ross Neil'. While several of these published plays were praised, very few were produced, and none except perhaps Elfinella, or, Home from Fairyland enjoyed popular stage success.
Richard Garnett summed up her impact by saying that, like Joanna Baillie in an earlier generation, "she kept the torch of the poetical drama alight." Bibliographic Citation link.
14 June 1837 Isabella Neil Harwood was born, most probably in England since her family was living at Bridport in Dorset at the time. She was an only child.  Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
25 October 1864 Isabella Neil Harwood anonymously published her first novel, Abbot's Cleve or, Can it be Proved?, in three volumes. Bibliographic Citation link.
13 August 1887 Isabella Harwood's last play to be produced, a revised version of the earlier "Inez" now titled "Loyal Love", premiered at the Gaiety Theatre in London, at 8:30 p.m. This initial production ran for twelve nights. Bibliographic Citation link.
29 May 1888 INH died of breast cancer at her family home, South Bank, Baldslow Road, in Hastings, Sussex, at the age of fifty-one. This was only five months after her father died. Bibliographic Citation link.
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