Mary Augusta Ward

Standard Name: Ward, Mary Augusta
Birth Name: Mary Augusta Arnold
Married Name: Mary Augusta Ward
Pseudonym: Mrs Humphry Ward
Best known for her influential loss-of-faith novel Robert Elsmere, MAW was among the more prolific and popular novelists of the later Victorian and Edwardian periods. Her fifty-year career spanned an era of enormous transformation. During it she produced twenty-five novels, an autobiography, journalism (including reviews and literary criticism), a children's book, a translation, and several works of war propaganda. Her more serious earlier works were weighty novels of ideas in the tradition of George Eliot , which seek to chart the complex relationships among character, intellect, religion, and morality. Her work insistently takes up what she sees as the pressing social issues of her day, shifting in the early twentieth century to briefer works on a much wider geographical canvas and then taking up the war effort in both fiction and prose. It displays an abiding interest in the social, intellectual, and sexual relations between men and women. The education and occupations of women are recurrent themes, and Oxford with its intellectual ferment a common setting. Although MAW 's nationalism, imperialism, and anti-suffrage stance cast her as conservative to recent readers, she was a reformer, in her earlier years a democrat, and an acute analyst of gender who believed strongly in the currents of progress and the transformative power of texts.
Black and white photograph of Mary Augusta Ward sitting in an upholstered chair, her hair in a bun, hands folded in her lap, and face turned to be seen in profile. She wears a long, full skirt and a gauzy blouse with a high collar, loose sleeves, and patterned panels in front.
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Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Education Catherine Carswell
After her discovery of literature, CC 's early reading included many pious books: Bunyan 's Pilgrim's Progress, Foxe 's Book of Martyrs, and Lives of the Saints. She also read widely in...
Education Enid Bagnold
This small, progressive school, which emphasized the study of art, literature, and theatre, was founded and headed by Julia (Mrs Leonard) Huxley , mother of Aldous Huxley and sister of the novelist Mary Augusta Ward
Family and Intimate relationships Walter Pater
WP was particularly close to his unmarried sisters. Both women were accomplished in their own right. The elder sister, Hester , became known as a talented embroiderer and friend to Mary Augusta Ward and Virginia Woolf
Family and Intimate relationships Matthew Arnold
Mary Augusta Ward was MA 's niece; she strongly revered him although they had little contact on literary matters.
Mitchell, Sally, editor. Victorian Britain: An Encyclopedia. Garland Press, 1988.
Family and Intimate relationships Aldous Huxley
The novelist Mary Augusta Ward , who was godmother as well as aunt to Aldous (he was named after the hero of her Marcella, published three months before his birth), became even more important...
Fictionalization Lady Caroline Lamb
The other great love of her life, her husband, was equally productive for fictionalized versions of her character and doings. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography cites among novels dealing with her marriage Thomas Lister
Friends, Associates Annie S. Swan
She also mentions a great many literary names. Among women writers whom she calls the stars of her generation were Mary Augusta Ward , Lucas Malet , Lucy Clifford , Sarah Grand , Violet Hunt
Friends, Associates Susan Tweedsmuir
ST 's parents made connections through friendship as remarkable as those made for them by family descent. Her mother was a friend of many writers and intellectuals of both sexes, including Marie Belloc Lowndes ,...
Friends, Associates Henry James
HJ 's circle of acquaintance in the world of letters and the theatre was very wide. As well as men of letters such as Edmund Gosse , it included a great many women writers, among...
Friends, Associates Walter Pater
From his time at BrasenoseWP knew Oscar Browning . In Oxford and London he socialized with Edmund Gosse , Algernon Charles Swinburne , Simeon Solomon , Oscar Wilde , Vernon Lee , A. Mary F. Robinson
Friends, Associates Henri-Frédéric Amiel
In 1885 Mary Augusta Ward published her translation of HFA 's notable diary with the title Amiel's Journal.
OCLC WorldCat.
Drabble, Margaret, editor. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. Oxford University Press, 1985.
Friends, Associates Emily Lawless
Lawless made a number of other friends, acquaintances, and admirers through her writing, including Margaret Oliphant , an early friend and critic, Rhoda Broughton , George Meredith , Aubrey de Vere , Mary Augusta Ward
Friends, Associates Anne Thackeray Ritchie
ATR wrote to Charlotte Yonge a few years later, lamenting: oh! what a pity it is that we are all growing old who have had such happy happy times with one another.
Ritchie, Anne Thackeray. Anne Thackeray Ritchie: Journals and Letters. Bloom, Abigail Burnham and John MaynardEditors , Ohio State University Press, 1994.
She uttered...
Friends, Associates A. Mary F. Robinson
In June 1881 Vernon Lee stayed with AMFR 's family in London. The next month the friends visited Oxford with Mary's sister Mabel . Their Oxford social life included attending a dinner party hosted by...
Friends, Associates George Eliot
By 1870 it was at last becoming common for married couples (like the scholar Mark Pattison and his wife Emelia, or Emily Francis ) to visit GE and her partner. Publisher Charles Kegan Paul and...


Joseph Henry Parker took over his uncle's Oxford bookselling and publishing business; as J. H. Parker it soon became the foremost publisher of the Oxford or Tractarian Movement.
November 1860
Thomas Hill Green became one of the first laymen to hold a fellowship at Balliol College .
9 August 1870
The Education Act established a national elementary education system governed by local school boards, to which women could be elected.
December 1874
French actress Sarah Bernhardt was in the first full tide of her success
Ward, Mary Augusta. A Writer’s Recollections. Harper and Brothers, 1918.
in Paris.
Thomas Humphry Ward published with Macmillan a highly successful four-volume anthology, The English Poets.
December 1882
Henri-Frédéric Amiel 's Fragments d'un Journal Intime was posthumously published in Geneva.
7 November 1885
The last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven in Eagle Pass, British Columbia, completing the transcontinental railway.
March 1887
Following his appointment as Chief Secretary, Arthur Balfour undertook a policy towards Ireland popularly characterized as killing Home Rule with kindness.
June 1889
Nineteenth Century published An Appeal against Female Suffrage by Mary Augusta Ward , signed by 103 other women.
July 1889
Women's Suffrage: A Reply appeared in the Fortnightly Review to counter Mary Augusta Ward 's Appeal Against Female Suffrage in the previous month's Nineteenth Century.
1 July 1891
The International Copyright Act, known as the Chace Act, came into force in the United States to protect the copyrights of foreign authors and end the longstanding practice of producing pirated editions of popular British...
1 July 1891
The International Copyright Act, known as the Chace Act, came into force in the United States to protect the copyrights of foreign authors and end the longstanding practice of producing pirated editions of popular British...
November 1896
The Publishers Council objected to series such as Popular New Novels, The Masterpiece Library, and the Review of Reviews, all of which published abridgements of popular novels and were edited by W. T. Stead .
Josephine Ward published One Poor Scruple: A Seven Weeks' Story.
11 September 1905
The Times Book Club opened at 93 New Bond Street, London, and quickly ran afoul of the Net Book Agreement.