Charlotte Yonge entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Charlotte Yonge was a staggeringly prolific author. Her more than two hundred works include domestic and historical novels for both adults and children, biographies, history and language textbooks, religious manuals, and a fragment of autobiography. She became famous without adopting many of the habits of the Victorian professional author: she published anonymously and donated most of her earnings to charity. Though her most successful titles remained household names for generations, many others in the Macmillan Uniform Edition were quickly forgotten. Bibliographic Citation link. Her underlying purpose is always religious. Her biographer Georgina Battiscombe writes that filial duty is her great theme, to which both love and common sense must be sacrificed. Bibliographic Citation link. She advises submission as a Christian duty and not as an exclusively gendered ideal. She deals also in religious scruples and struggles: confirmation (as the climax of an education in spiritual self-examination) is often an issue for her characters.
11 August 1823 Charlotte Mary Yonge was born, at Otterbourne in Hampshire. Bibliographic Citation link.
Autumn 1838 CY's first published work appeared when she was fifteen, within a month of her confirmation: Le Château de Melville; ou, Récréations du Cabinet d'Étude, written to raise money for the church school at Otterbourne. Bibliographic Citation link.
May 1850 CY received from her close friend Marianne Dyson some notes for a story which Dyson had been trying unsuccessfully to get written: this story became The Heir of Redclyffe. Bibliographic Citation link.
August 1851 CY finished writing the novel which was to make her name, The Heir of Redclyffe; it was not published for two more years. Bibliographic Citation link.
January 1853 CY's best-selling novel The Heir of Redclyffe was published in London by John Parker and in New York by Appleton. Bibliographic Citation link.
Early 1901 In the year of her death CY composed her final work, Reasons Why I Am a Catholic and Not a Roman Catholic. Bibliographic Citation link.
24 March 1901 CY died at Otterbourne, Hampshire, of pleurisy. Bibliographic Citation link.
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