Augusta Webster

Standard Name: Webster, Augusta
Birth Name: Julia Augusta Davies
Married Name: Julia Augusta Webster
Pseudonym: Cecil Home
AW wrote poetry, two novels (one for children), drama, and journalism, including book reviews and criticism, in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Despite her translations from and imaginative interpretations of classical literature, her poetic voice is very much of the Victorian period in its fascination with the dramatic. In her eight volumes of original poetry she experimented with form, achieving particular power and originality with the dramatic monologue. One of her four plays was staged, and some of her columns on social, political, and literary issues were collected into a volume. Her high reputation as a poet in her own day soon faded after her death, but she has recently experienced a critical revival based on her more politically charged and feminist works.
This image of Augusta Webster is captioned "photographed by Ferrando, Roma". Turned three quarters to our right, she is wearing a black dress with a white frill collar, with her hair pulled back in a bun. Under the image her signature is reproduced.
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Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Family and Intimate relationships Mary Catherine Hume
Mary Catherine's Scottish father, Joseph Hume , was a Radical Member of Parliament, who sat indefatigably on committees and held other positions such as Lord Rector of Aberdeen University . In parliament he reportedly spoke...
Friends, Associates Mathilde Blind
One of her travelling companions (and a close friend) was the New Woman novelist Mona Caird (famous for her declaration calling the institution of marriage a vexatious failure in the Westminster Review in 1888).
Thesing, William B., editor. Dictionary of Literary Biography 199. Gale Research, 1999.
Friends, Associates Mona Caird
She met Arthur Symons in June 1889, and in the following month Thomas Hardy carefully arranged to sit between her and Rosamund Marriott Watson (and opposite F. Mabel Robinson ) at a dinner of the...
Friends, Associates Frances Power Cobbe
Friends, Associates F. Mabel Robinson
FMR shared to the full the social involvement of her family with entertaining leading figures in London cultural life: such men as John Singer Sargent , Robert Browning , William Morris , and Oscar Wilde
Intertextuality and Influence Isa Blagden
The final line invokes Wordsworth 's The Female Vagrant, andIB also echoes Thomas Hood 's Bridge of Sighs and the more general iconography of the fallen woman. This treatment of what it meant...
Intertextuality and Influence Elizabeth Barrett Browning
American poet Emily Dickinson loved EBB 's poetry. The language of Aurora Leigh crops up throughout her oeuvre, and she recalls the transformative experience, sanctifying the soul, of her early reading in one poem: I...
Intertextuality and Influence Lady Charlotte Elliot
The Pythoness (carried forward for reprinting in LCE 's later volumes) details the central character's distress at being a prophet and an instrument of the gods.
Blain, Virginia, Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy, editors. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. Yale University Press; Batsford, 1990.
This dramatic monologue interestingly explores the quandary of a...
Intertextuality and Influence Amy Levy
AL acknowledged the influence on her poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley , Goethe , Heine , Robert Browning , Swinburne (whose poem Félise she answered in Félise to Her Lover), and James Thomson (the...
Intertextuality and Influence Menella Bute Smedley
The treatment of Lady Grace in verse drama form to comment on the situation of contemporary women suggests the influence of Augusta Webster 's recently published A Woman Sold, for such drama was rare...
Literary responses Sarah Williams
A. H. Miles included a selection of SW 's work in The Poets and the Poetry of the Nineteenth Century and the introduction by A. H. Japp describes her work as distinguished by originality, breadth...
Literary responses Lady Charlotte Elliot
LCE received little critical attention either during or after her lifetime. The Athenæum obituary by Theodore Watts described her as perhaps the latest noticeable addition to that bright roll of female poets of which Scotland...
politics Christina Rossetti
Notwithstanding these affiliations, however, she declined to support women's suffrage when requested by Augusta Webster around 1878. In a letter to Webster she stated: I do not think the present social movements tend on the...
Author summary Lady Charlotte Elliot
Author of three volumes of poetry published in the second half of the nineteenth century, LCE frequently saw her work linked to that of other Scottish writers. Her poems draw on religious and mythological themes...
Reception Violet Fane
Reviewing this piece for the Athenæum, Augusta Webster praised Life's Afternoon for its verve, and felt that the author had managed to transcend the tired trope of autumnal decadence.
Rigg, Patricia. “Augusta Webster and the Lyric Muse: The Athenæum and Webster’s Poetics”. Victorian Poetry, No. 2, pp. 135 - 64.


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.