Menella Bute Smedley entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Menella Bute Smedley published or co-published around fifteen titles in various genres: stories, novels, poetry, and books for children, besides her contribution to parliamentary reports about pauper schools. Her poetry makes accomplished and at times innovative use of dramatic and lyric form in its treatment of historical and contemporary material. Her work is distinguished by its sensitive depictions of women's struggles for independent lives and effective action, its acute dissection of Victorian gender conventions, and its positive representations of feminism and unconventional femininity.
By 14 November 1820 MBS was born in Wandsworth, South London, the last but one of five children, of whom four lived to grow up. Bibliographic Citation link.
By May 1849 At not yet thirty MBS, as 'S. M.', published her first short novel, initially in Sharpe's London Magazine and then in a volume, The Maiden Aunt. Bibliographic Citation link.
25 May 1877 MBS died at her house in Park Road, Regent's Park, in her late fifties. Bibliographic Citation link.
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