Jane Loudon

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While still an adolescent JL published tales and verse; next, in 1827, came a highly unusual science-fiction horror novel. After marrying a horticulturalist she participated in his writing career with work on his gardening magazine and his accounts of travelling in search of gardens to explore and assess. She also pursued her own related line with improving stories about a child naturalist, and with a flow of works, 1839-55, designed to encourage and inform women gardeners. Several of her titles are sufficiently like each other to be confusing, including her best-known, Gardening for Ladies, and a series of books about different kinds of plants, which are distinguished only by subtitle.
Black and white photograph of an oval painting of Jane Loudon, shown from the waist up. She is wearing a simple dress with dark bodice and light skirt,  a light cape patterned with flowers, and a lace collar. Slender chains lie around her neck and in her dark, neatly piled hair.
"Jane Loudon" Retrieved from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c7/Jane_Loudon_crop.jpg. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.

Milestones

19 August 1800
Jane Webb (later JL ) was born at Kitwell House, near Halesowen (which was then a town in Worcestershire, but is now a part of Birmingham) She was her parents' only surviving child.
Two elder brothers had died, each at only a few months old. She gave this as her birth-date when applying to the Royal Literary Society for a grant; the Gentleman's Magazine obituary gave the year, in error, as 1807, and has been generally followed.
Ashfield, Andrew. Email: Notes on Susannah Dobson (1738-1795) and Jane Webb 1800-1858.
The ODNB in 2018 gives her place of birth as Ritwell House.
Ashfield, Andrew. Email: Notes on Susannah Dobson (1738-1795) and Jane Webb 1800-1858.
Loudon, Jane. Prose and Verse. R. Wrightson, 1824.
prelims
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
22 January 1824
Jane Webb (later JL ) dated her publication at Birmingham, with her name, of her first book: Prose and Verse, This was a project for earning some money.
Solo: Search Oxford University Libraries Online.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
1827
Jane Webb (later JL ) chose anonymous publication for her only novel, The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century, a melodramatic, futuristic fantasy in the newly popular mode which is now called science fiction.
Solo: Search Oxford University Libraries Online.
By mid June 1840
In response to the financial crisis caused by her husband's scholarly, definitive Arboretum et Fruticetum Britannicum, JL published a book which became her best-known work, Instructions in Gardening for Ladies.
Bea Howe suggests that it appeared in autumn 1841, but the Athenæum and library catalogues say 1840.
Howe, Bea. Lady with Green Fingers. Country Life, 1961.
72
The Athenaeum Index of Reviews and Reviewers: 1830-1870.
Howe, Bea. Lady with Green Fingers. Country Life, 1961.
72
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
By mid-April 1855
The last book that JL published was My Own Garden, or, The Young Gardener's Year Book.
The Athenaeum Index of Reviews and Reviewers: 1830-1870.
Solo: Search Oxford University Libraries Online.
Howe, Bea. Lady with Green Fingers. Country Life, 1961.
145
13 July 1858
JL died at her home, 3 Porchester Terrace, London, of heart disease.
Ashfield, Andrew. Email: Notes on Susannah Dobson (1738-1795) and Jane Webb 1800-1858.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Biography

Birth and Family

19 August 1800
Jane Webb (later JL ) was born at Kitwell House, near Halesowen (which was then a town in Worcestershire, but is now a part of Birmingham) She was her parents' only surviving child.
Two elder brothers had died, each at only a few months old. She gave this as her birth-date when applying to the Royal Literary Society for a grant; the Gentleman's Magazine obituary gave the year, in error, as 1807, and has been generally followed.
Ashfield, Andrew. Email: Notes on Susannah Dobson (1738-1795) and Jane Webb 1800-1858.
The ODNB in 2018 gives her place of birth as Ritwell House.
Ashfield, Andrew. Email: Notes on Susannah Dobson (1738-1795) and Jane Webb 1800-1858.
Loudon, Jane. Prose and Verse. R. Wrightson, 1824.
prelims
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.