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Introduction

  • Helen LoaderEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Mary Augusta Ward, more familiarly known as Mrs. Humphry Ward, became one of the most famous novelists of her generation as a result of the success of her third novel, Robert Elsmere, published in 1888. The book sold more than 30,000 copies in England and over 200,000 copies in America in its first year of publication. Her controversial novel drew on the life and work of her friend, the Oxford philosopher, Thomas Hill Green and attracted a great deal of attention in religious, social and political circles as the plot revolved around the loss of faith of a young Anglican cleric and his evangelical wife, Catherine. Although Mary acknowledged that some of the characters were drawn from her renowned Arnold family members and several of the Oxford intellectuals alongside whom she lived, socialised and studied as a young woman, she stated frequently in her writings that Green had been her main inspiration for the novel.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for History of Women’s EducationUniversity of WinchesterWinchesterUK

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