Mary Cowden Clarke

Standard Name: Clarke, Mary Cowden
Birth Name: Mary Victoria Novello
Married Name: Mary Victoria Cowden Clarke
Indexed Name: Mary Cowden Clarke
Indexed Name: Mary Cowden-Clarke
Pseudonym: M. H.
Pseudonym: Harry Wandsworth Shortfellow
Nickname: Mrs Cowden
Used Form: Mrs Cowden Clarke
MCC was a leading nineteenth-century Shakespearean scholar, who (in collaboration with her husband, Charles Cowden Clarke ) annotated editions, compiled a concordance, and wrote a key or encyclopaedia, and on her own account produced an anthology, a book of tales, or what would now be called prequels, about the early lives of Shakespeare 's female characters, and an edition that preceded the better-known one produced by her husband. She was a self-defined professional writer who translated works of musicology, edited a magazine and published poetry, articles, stories, novels, biographies, and her own autobiography.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Cultural formation Pauline Johnson
As the daughter of an English mother and a Mohawk father, PJ was attentive to issues of her dual heritage; by Canadian law she was deemed Indian. She identified herself as Mohawk.
Keller, Betty. Pauline: A Biography of Pauline Johnson. Douglas and McIntyre.
There is...
death Charles Cowden Clarke
CCC , writer, died at Villa Novello in Genoa, Italy, in the bosom of his wife 's family, which he had made his own.
Stephen, Sir Leslie, and Sidney Lee, editors. The Dictionary of National Biography. Smith, Elder.
Dedications Camilla Crosland
Camilla Crosland published another volume of poetry, The Diamond Wedding: A Doric Story, and Other Poems; she dedicated it to Charles and Mary Cowden Clarke .
OCLC WorldCat. Accessed 1999.
Crosland, Camilla. The Diamond Wedding. Houlston and Sons.
Family and Intimate relationships Charles Cowden Clarke
On 5 July 1828 CCC married the considerably younger Mary Victoria Novello , who made her name in literature as Mary Cowden Clarke.
Friends, Associates Sarah Flower Adams
As her father established himself socially and politically within the Dalston community, she became involved in London's literary and intellectual circles. Among those she met, William James Linton , John Stuart Mill , and...
Friends, Associates Charles Cowden Clarke
CCC was an important early friend of John Keats . He also formed friendships with Leigh Hunt , Douglas Jerrold , Charles and Mary Lamb , and Charles Dickens . Most of these friendships were...
Friends, Associates Camilla Crosland
CC 's friends and acquaintances were varying and numerous. In her youth the radical politician John Cartwright was a neighbour. Her literary work as an adult led to the formation of a number of lasting...
Friends, Associates Mary Lamb
Friends were still being added to the Lambs' circle late in their lives, including literary friends like John Clare and Thomas Hood . Charles corresponded with Mary Shelley ; ML corresponded with Mary Matilda Betham
Literary responses Isabella Neil Harwood
The play was not widely reviewed or remarked upon. The Era thought the premiere not unsuccessful, although the play had obiously been written as dramatic literature and not for performance. To be staged more successfully...
Literary responses Fanny Kemble
Mary Cowden Clarke , who was born the same year as FK , thought that such a strong play by such a young author proved both her talent and her keen perception of dramatic fitness...
Occupation Robert Browning
RB began his literary career as a poet inauspiciously with Pauline (1833), but with Paracelsus (1835) began to achieve some critical success. He entered literary society under the patronage of W. J. Fox , and...
Occupation Charles Cowden Clarke
Between 1835 and 1856, on the advice of Mary Cowden Clark, who had observed his skill at reading aloud, CCC gave lectures on literature, including several on Shakespeare . Some of these were later published...
Occupation Fanny Kemble
Her mother returned to the theatre for one night only as Lady Capulet; Mary Cowden Clarke , who was in the audience, recorded that the audience's warm reception made Maria Theresa Kemble weep on stage...
Occupation Fanny Kemble
Despite her success, she remained sceptical about the value of theatre. She regarded it as an unworthy venture, a business which is incessant excitement and fictitious emotion . . . unworthy of a man; a...
Publishing Alice Meynell
This side of her prolific career lasted for more than thirty years. By 1881 she was writing reviews and art and literary criticism for the Scots Observer (which lasted till nearly the end of the...


About 1829: Alfred Novello, brother of Mary Cowden Clarke,...

Building item

About 1829

Alfred Novello , brother of Mary Cowden Clarke , launched the family music-publishing business at the family home, then 67 Frith Street, London.

15 February 1830: The Lyceum Theatre in London burned to the...

Building item

15 February 1830

The Lyceum Theatre in London burned to the ground; Mary Cowden Clarke and her husband had left the theatre a few hours earlier after attending a performance.

17 February 1847: The Whittington Club (named after the poor...

Building item

17 February 1847

The Whittington Club (named after the poor boy who became Lord Mayor of London) held its first meeting. Unlike traditional gentlemen's clubs, it welcomed women and lower-middle-class men.

December 1855: Barbara Leigh Smith, later Bodichon, founded...

National or international item

December 1855

Barbara Leigh Smith , later Bodichon, founded the Married Women's Property Committee (sometimes called the Women's Committee) to draw up a petition for a married women's property bill.


Cherubini, Luigi. A Treatise on Counterpoint and Fugue. Translator Clarke, Mary Cowden, Novello, Ewer, 1854.
Berlioz, Hector. A Treatise upon Modern Instrumentation and Orchestration. Translator Clarke, Mary Cowden, J. Alfred Novello, 1856.
Clarke, Mary Cowden. Centennial Biographic Sketch of Charles Cowden-Clarke. Novello, Ewer, 1887.
Clarke, Mary Cowden. Honey from the Weed. Kegan Paul, 1881.
Clarke, Mary Cowden, and George Cruikshank. Kit Bam’s Adventures. Grant and Griffith, 1849.
Clarke, Mary Cowden. Letters to an Enthusiast. Editor Nettleton, Anne Upton, Paul, 1902.
Clarke, Mary Cowden. My Long Life. Dodd, Mead, 1896.
Clarke, Mary Cowden. My Long Life. T. Fisher Unwin, 1896.
Clarke, Mary Cowden. My Long Life. Cambridge University Press, 2010,
Clarke, Charles Cowden, and Mary Cowden Clarke. Recollections of Writers. Sampson Low, 1878.
Clarke, Mary Cowden. Shakespeare Proverbs. Chapman and Hall, 1848.
Clarke, Mary Cowden. The Complete Concordance to Shakspere. Charles Knight, 1845.
Clarke, Mary Cowden. The Girlhood of Shakespeare’s Heroines. W .H. Smith; Simpkin, Marshall, 1852.
Clarke, Mary Cowden, and Mary Cowden Clarke. The Girlhood of Shakespeare’s Heroines. A. C. Armstrong, 1891.
Clarke, Mary Cowden. The Iron Cousin. G. Routledge, 1854.
Clarke, Mary Cowden. The Life and Labours of Vincent Novello. Novello, 1862.
Clarke, Charles Cowden, and Mary Cowden Clarke. The Shakespeare Key. Sampson Low, 1879.
Clarke, Mary Cowden. The Song of Drop o’ Wather. G. Routledge, 1856.
Clarke, Mary Cowden. The Trust; and, The Remittance. Grant, 1873.
Clarke, Mary Cowden, and Charles Staal. World-noted Women. D. Appleton, 1858.