World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Mary Augusta Ward

Mary Augusta Ward
Born Mary Augusta Arnold
(1851-06-11)11 June 1851
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Died 24 March 1920(1920-03-24) (aged 68)
London, England
Pen name Mrs. Humphry Ward
Nationality British
Spouse Thomas Humphry Ward
Children Arnold Ward
Relatives Tom Arnold (father)


Mary Augusta Ward née Arnold; (11 June 1851 – 24 March 1920), was a British novelist who wrote under her married name as Mrs Humphry Ward.[1]


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Death 3
  • Foundations, organisations and settlements 4
  • Associated activists in social change 5
  • Works 6
  • Notes 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
  • External links 10

Early life

Huxley and Arnold family tree

Mary Augusta Arnold was born in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, into a prominent intellectual family of writers and educationalists.[2][3][4] Mary was the daughter of Tom Arnold, a professor of literature, and Julia Sorrell. Her uncle was the poet Matthew Arnold and her grandfather Thomas Arnold,[5] the famous headmaster of Rugby School.[6] Her sister Julia married Leonard Huxley, the son of Thomas Huxley, and their sons were Julian and Aldous Huxley.[7] The Arnolds and the Huxleys were an important influence on British intellectual life.

Mary's father Tom Arnold was appointed inspector of schools in Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) and commenced his role on 15 January 1850.[8] Tom Arnold was received into the Roman Catholic Church on 12 January 1856, which made him so unpopular in his job (and with his wife) that he resigned and left for England with his family in July 1856.[8] Mary Arnold had her fifth birthday the month before they left, and had no further connection with Tasmania. Tom Arnold was ratified as chair of English literature at the contemplated Catholic university, Dublin, after some delay. Mary spent much of her time with her grandmother. She was educated at various boarding schools (from ages 11 to 15, in Shifnal, Shropshire[9]) and at 16 returned to live with her parents at Oxford, where her father had a lecturership in history.[10] Her schooldays formed the basis for one of her later novels, Marcella (1894).[11][12]

On 6 April 1872, not yet 21 years old, Mary married Humphry Ward, a fellow and tutor of Brasenose College, and also a writer and editor. For the next nine years she continued to live at Oxford, at 17 Bradmore Road, where she is commemorated by a blue plaque.[13] She had by now made herself familiar with French, German, Italian, Latin and Greek. She was developing an interest in social and educational service and making tentative efforts at literature. She added Spanish to her languages, and in 1877 undertook the writing of a large number of the lives of early Spanish ecclesiastics for the Dictionary of Christian Biography edited by Dr William Smith and Dr. Henry Wace.[14] Her translation of Amiel's Journal appeared in 1885.


Mary Augusta Ward, by Julian Russell Story, 1889

Mary Augusta Ward began her career writing articles for Macmillan's Magazine[14] while working on a book for children that was published in 1881 under the title Milly and Olly. This was followed in 1884 by a more ambitious, though slight, study of modern life, Miss Bretherton, the story of an actress.[14] Ward's novels contained strong religious subject matter relevant to Victorian values she herself practised. Her popularity spread beyond Great Britain to the United States. Her book Lady Rose's Daughter was the best-selling novel in the United States in 1903, as was The Marriage of William Ashe in 1905. Ward's most popular novel by far was the religious "novel with a purpose" Robert Elsmere,[15] which portrayed the emotional conflict between the young pastor Elsmere and his wife, whose over-narrow orthodoxy brings her religious faith and their mutual love to a terrible impasse; but it was the detailed discussion of the "higher criticism" of the day, and its influence on Christian belief, rather than its power as a piece of dramatic fiction, that gave the book its exceptional vogue.[16][17] It started, as no academic work could have done, a popular discussion on historic and essential Christianity.[14][18][19]

Ward helped establish an organisation for working and teaching among the poor. She also worked as an educator in the residential settlement movements she founded. Mary Ward's declared aim was "equalisation" in society, and she established educational settlements first at Marchmont Hall and later at Tavistock Place in Bloomsbury. This was originally called the Passmore Edwards Settlement, after its benefactor John Passmore Edwards, but after Ward's death it became the Mary Ward Settlement. It is now known as the Mary Ward Centre and continues as an adult education college; affiliated with it is the Mary Ward Legal Centre.

She was also a significant campaigner against women getting the vote.[20][21][22][23] In the summer of 1908 she was approached by William Cremer, who asked her to be the founding president of the Women's National Anti-Suffrage League. Ward took on the job, creating and editing the Anti-Suffrage Review. She published a large number of articles on the subject, while two of her novels, The Testing of Diana Mallory and Delia Blanchflower, were used as platforms to criticise the suffragettes.[24] In a 1909 article in The Times, Ward wrote that constitutional, legal, financial, military, and international problems were problems only men could solve. However, she came to promote the idea of women having a voice in local government[25] and other rights that the men's anti-suffrage movement would not tolerate.

During World War I, Ward was asked by former United States President Theodore Roosevelt to write a series of articles to explain to Americans what was happening in Britain. Her work involved visiting the trenches on the Western Front, and resulted in three books, England's Effort - Six Letters to an American Friend (1916), Towards the Goal (1917), and Fields of Victory (1919).[12]


Mary Augusta Ward died in London, England, and was interred at Aldbury in Hertfordshire, near her beloved country home Stocks.

Foundations, organisations and settlements

Associated activists in social change


The cover of Milly and Olly, illustrated by Ruth M. Hallock and published by Doubleday, Page & Company in 1914



  • (1891). Address to Mark the Opening of University Hall.
  • (1894). Unitarians and the Future: Essex Hall Lecture.
  • (1898). New Forms of Christian Education: An Address to the University Hall Guild.
  • (1906). The Play-time of the Poor.
  • (1907). William Thomas Arnold, Journalist and Historian (with C. E. Montague).
  • (1910). Letters to my Neighbor on the Present Election.
  • (1916). England's Effort, Six Letters to an American Friend.
  • (1917). Towards the Goal (with an Introduction by Theodore Roosevelt.)
  • (1918). A Writer's Recollections.[28]
  • (1919). Fields of Victory.

Selected articles

  • (1883). "French Souvenirs," Macmillan's Magazine 48, pp. 141–153.
  • (1883). "M. Renan's Autobiography," Macmillan's Magazine 48, pp. 213–223.
  • (1883). "Francis Garnier," Macmillan's Magazine 48, pp. 309–320.
  • (1883). "A Swiss Peasant Novelist," Macmillan's Magazine 48, pp. 453–464.
  • (1884). "The Literature of Introspection," Part II, Macmillan's Magazine 49, pp. 190–201, 268–278.
  • (1884). "A New Edition of Keats," Macmillan's Magazine 49, pp. 330–340.
  • (1884). "M. Renan's New Volume," Macmillan's Magazine 50, pp. 161–170.
  • (1884). "Recent Fiction in England and France," Macmillan's Magazine 50, pp. 250–260.
  • (1885). "Style and Miss Austen," Macmillan's Magazine 51, pp. 84–91.
  • (1885). "French Views on English Writers," Macmillan's Magazine 52, pp. 16–25.
  • (1885). "Marius the Epicurean," Macmillan's Magazine 52, pp. 132–139.
  • (1889). "The New Reformation: A Dialogue," The Nineteenth Century 25, pp. 454–480.
  • (1899). "The New Reformation II: A Conscience Clause for the Laity," The Nineteenth Century 46, pp. 654–672.
  • (1908). "Some Suffragist Arguments," Educational Review 36, pp. 398–404.
  • (1908). "Why I Do Not Believe in Woman Suffrage," Ladies' Home Journal 25, p. 15.
  • (1908). "Women's Anti-Suffrage Movement," Nineteenth Century and After 64, pp. 343–352.[29]
  • (1917). "Some Thoughts on Charlotte Brontë," In: Charlotte Brontë, 1816-1916: A Centenary Memorial. London: T. Fisher Unwin, pp. 11–38.
  • (1918). "Let Women Say! An Appeal to the House of Lords," The Nineteenth Century and After 83, pp. 47–59.


  • (1899). Joubert: A Selection from His Thoughts; with a Preface by Mrs. Humphry Ward.
  • (1899–1900). The Life and Work of the Sisters Brontë. 7 vols.; with an Introduction by Mrs. Humphry Ward.
  • (1901). The Case for the Factory Acts, Ed. by Beatrice Webb; with a Preface by Mrs. Humphry Ward.
  • (1908). The Forewarners: A Novel, by Giovanni Cena; with a Preface by Mrs. Humphry Ward.
  • (1911). "Lyly, John." In: Encyclopædia Britannica, (11th ed.), Vol. XVII, p. 159–161.
  • (1917). Six Women and the Invasion, by Gabrielle & Marguerite Yerta; with a Preface by Mrs. Humphry Ward.
  • (1920). Evening Play Centres for Children, by Janet Penrose Trevelyan; with a Preface by Mrs. Humphry Ward.


  • (1885). Amiel's Journal: The Journal Intime (2 vols.)

Collected works

  • (1909–12). The Writings of Mrs Humphry Ward. Houghton Mifflin (16 vols.)
  • (1911–12). The Writings of Mrs Humphry Ward. Westmoreland Edition (16 vols.)


  1. ^ Gwynn, Stephen (1917). Mrs. Humphry Ward. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
  2. ^ McGill, Anna Blanche (1901). "The Arnolds," The Book Buyer, Vol. 22, No. 5, pp. 373–380.
  3. ^ McGill, Anna Blanche (1901). "Some Famous Literary Clans. IV. The Arnolds Concluded," The Book Buyer, Vol. 22, No. 6, pp. 459–466.
  4. ^ Sutherland, John (1991). Mrs Humphry Ward: Eminent Victorian, Pre-eminent Edwardian. Oxford University Press.
  5. ^ Stewart, Herbert L. (1920). "Mrs. Humphry Ward," The University Magazine, Vol. XIX, No. 2, pp. 193–207.
  6. ^ Trevor, Meriol (1973). The Arnolds: Thomas Arnold and his Family. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
  7. ^ Harris, Muriel (1920). "Mrs. Humphry Ward," The North American Review, Vol. 211, No. 775, p. 818.
  8. ^ a b Howell, P.A. (1966). "Arnold, Thomas (1823–1900)".  
  9. ^ Dickins, Gordon (1987). An Illustrated Literary Guide to Shropshire. Shropshire Libraries. pp. 74, 109.  
  10. ^ Jones, Enid Huws (1973). Mrs Humphry Ward. London: Heinemann.
  11. ^ Johnson, Lionel Pigot (1921). "Mrs. Humphry Ward: Marcella," in Reviews & Critical Papers. London: Elkin Mathews.
  12. ^ a b Dickins, Gordon (1987). An Illustrated Literary Guide to Shropshire. p. 74. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b c d Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition
  15. ^ Peterson, William S. (1976). Victorian Heretic: Mrs Humphry Ward's Robert Elsmere. Leicester University Press.
  16. ^ Phelps, William Lyon (1910). "Mrs. Humphry Ward." In: Essays on Modern Novelists. New York: The Macmillan Company.
  17. ^ Maison, Margaret M. (1961). "The Tragedy of Unbelief," in The Victorian Vision. New York: Sheed & Ward.
  18. ^ Mallock, M.M. (1913). "Newer Gospel," The American Catholic Quarterly Review, Vol. 38, No. 149, pp. 1–16.
  19. ^ Lightman, Bernand (1990). "Robert Elsmere and the Agnostic Crises of Faith." In: Victorian Faith in Crisis: Essays on Continuity and Change in Nineteenth-century Religious Belief. Stanford University Press.
  20. ^ "An Appeal against Female Suffrage," The Nineteenth Century 25, 1889, 781–788.
  21. ^ Fawcett, Millicent Garrett (1912). "The Anti-suffragists," in Women's Suffrage. London: T.C. & E.C. Jack, pp. 44-57.
  22. ^ Thesing, William B. (1984). "Mrs. Humphry Ward's Anti-Suffrage Campaign: From Polemics to Art," Turn-of-the-Century Woman, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 22-35.
  23. ^ Joannou, Maroula (2005). "Mary Augusta Ward (Mrs Humphry) and the opposition to women's suffrage," Women's History Review 14, No. 3-4, pp. 561–580.
  24. ^ Argyle, Gisela (2003). "Mrs. Humphry Ward's Fictional Experiments in the Woman Question," Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Vol. 43, No. 4, The Nineteenth Century, pp. 939-957.
  25. ^ Fawcett, Millicent Garrett (1920). The Women's Victory - and After: Personal Reminiscences, 1911-1918. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, Ltd., p. 42.
  26. ^ "WARD, Mrs. Humphry (Mary Augusta)". Who's Who, 59: p. 1835. 1907. 
  27. ^ Whitaker, Joseph (1906). "Agatha". Almanack, 1906. London. p. 390. 
  28. ^ More, Paul Elmer (1921). "Oxford, Women, and God." In: Shelburne Essays, 11th series. Ed. More. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, pp. 257–287.
  29. ^ Gore-Booth, Eva (1908). "Women and the Suffrage: A Reply to Lady Lovat and Mrs. Humphry Ward," The Nineteenth Century and After 64, pp. 495-506.



Further reading

  • Adcock, A. St. John (1903). "Mrs Humphry Ward." The Bookman, Vol. 24, pp. 199–204.
  • Beetz, Kirk H (1990). "Review of Mrs. Humphry Ward (1851-1920): A Bibliography," Victorian Periodicals Review, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 73–76.
  • Bellringer, Alan W. (1985). "Mrs Humphry Ward's Autobiographical Tactics: A Writer's Recollections," Prose Studies, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 40–50.
  • Bennett, Arnold (1917). "Mrs Humphry Ward's Heroines." In: Books and Persons. New York: George H. Doran, pp. 47–52.
  • Bensick, Carol M. (1999). "'Partly Sympathy and Partly Rebellion': Mary Ward, the Scarlet Letter, and Hawthorne." In: Hawthorne and Women: Engendering and Expanding the Hawthorne Tradition. Ed. John L. Ido, Jr. and Melinda M. Ponder. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, pp. 159–167.
  • Bergonzi, Bernard (2001). "Aldous Huxley and Aunt Mary." In: Aldous Huxley: Between East and West. Ed. C. C. Barfoot. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Rodopi, pp. 9–17.
  • Bindslev, Anne M. (1985). Mrs. Humphry Ward: A Study in Late-Victorian Feminine Consciousness and Creative Expression. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International.
  • Boughton, Gillian E. (2005). "Dr. Arnold’s Granddaughter: Mary Augusta Ward.” In: The Child Writer from Austen to Woolf. Ed. Christine Alexander and Juliet McMaster. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 237–53.
  • Bush, Julia (2005). "'Special Strengths for Their Own Special Duties': Women, Higher Education and Gender Conservatism in Late Victorian Britain," History of Education, Vol. 34, No. 4, pp. 387–405.
  • Collister, Peter (1980). "Mrs Humphry Ward, Vernon Lee, and Henry James," The Review of English Studies, New Series, Vol. 31, No. 123, pp. 315–321.
  • Courtney, W.L. (1904). "Mrs Humphry Ward." In: The Feminine Note in Fiction. London: Chapman & Hall, pp. 3–41.
  • Cross, Wilbur L. (1899). "Philosophical Realism: Mrs. Humphry Ward and Thomas Hardy." In: The Development of the English Novel. New York: The Macmillan Company, pp. 268–280.
  • Fawkes, Alfred (1913). "The Ideas of Mrs. Humphry Ward." In: Studies in Modernism. London: Smith, Elder & Co., pp. 447–468.
  • Gardiner, A.G. (1914). "Mrs. Humphry Ward." In: Pillars Of Society. London: James Nisbett & Co., Limited.
  • Hamel, F. (1903). "The Scenes of Mrs. Humphry Ward's Novels," The Bookman, pp. 144–152.
  • James, Henry (1893). "Mrs. Humphry Ward." In: Essays in London and Elsewhere. New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers.
  • Lederer, Clara (1951). "Mary Arnold Ward and the Victorian Ideal," Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 201–208.
  • Lovett, Robert M. (1919). "Mary in Wonderland," The Dial, Vol. 66, pp. 463–465.
  • Mabie, Hamilton W. (1903). "The Work of Mrs. Humphry Ward," The North American Review, Vol. 176, No. 557, pp. 481–489.
  • MacFall, Haldane (1904). "Literary Portraits: Mrs. Humphry Ward," The Canadian Magazine, Vol. 23, pp. 497–499.
  • Murry, John Middleton (1918). "The Victorian Solitude," The Living Age, Vol. 299, pp. 680–682.
  • Norton-Smith, J. (1968). "An Introduction to Mrs. Humphry Ward, Novelist," Essays in Criticism, Vol. 18, pp. 420–428.
  • Olcott, Charles S. (1914). "The Country of Mrs. Humphry Ward." In: The Lure of the Camera. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
  • Phillips, Roland (1903). "Mrs. Humphry Ward," The Lamp, Vol. 26, pp. 17–20.
  • Smith, Esther Marian Greenwell (1980). Mrs. Humphry Ward. Boston: Twayne Publishers.
  • Sutherland, John (1988). "A Girl in the Bodleian: Mary Ward's Room of Her Own," Browning Institute Studies, Vol. 16, Victorian Learning, pp. 169–179.
  • Sutton-Ramspeck, Beth (1990). "The Personal Is Poetical: Feminist Criticism and Mary Ward's Readings of the Brontës," Victorian Studies, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 55–75.
  • Trevelyan, Janet Penrose (1923). The Life of Mrs. Humphry Ward. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company.
  • Walters, J. Stuart (1912). Mrs. Humphry Ward: Her Work and Influence. London: K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd.

External links

  • Works by or about Mary Augusta Ward at Internet Archive
  • Works by Mary Augusta Ward at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by Mary Augusta Ward at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
  • Works by Mary Augusta Ward, at Hathi Trust
  • Works by Mary Augusta Ward, at
  • Ward [née Arnold], Mary Augusta
  • Mrs Humphry Ward - Victorian Fiction Research Guide
  • Ward at the Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography
  • Mary Augusta Ward at The Victorian Web
  • Works by Ward at The Victorian Women Writers Project
  • Mary Ward Centre
  • The Passing of Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Women's National Anti-Suffrage League
  • Archival material relating to Mary Augusta Ward listed at the UK National Archives
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from iCloud eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.