Mary Augusta Ward Biography

Mary A. Ward was an English novelist who wrote

Mary Augusta Ward was a British novelist philanthropist. While she is often remembered for her anti-suffrage stance, she is most noted for her novels dealing with social and religious themes.

Mary Augusta Ward was born in Australia to the illustrious family of Arnolds, with Dr. Thomas Arnold of Rugby being her grandfather. He had two sons, Matthew and Thomas. Mary was the daughter of Thomas. After her father finished his studies at Oxford, he became an inspector of schools for Tasmania (which is the island south of Australia). There he married Miss Julia Lovell, and Mary Augusta was

born to them. The family returned to Oxford, England where Mary was raised and educated.

Mary grew up amidst writers and scholars from the university who introduced her to many disciplines. She became adept as a translator as well as a writer and she specialized in early Spanish history and literature. She settled in London in 1881 and soon married Mr. Humphrey Ward.

Mary's earliest work was "Milly and Olly". Next came "Miss

Bretherton". Other productions were "Robert Elsmere", "the History of David Grieve", "Marcell", "Sir George Tressady", "Helbeck of Bannisdale", and "Eleanaor". "Robert Elmere" produced the biggest

stir in the reading world. Within a few months it passed through seven editions in England and half a million copies were sold in America in less than three years. It was also translated into German, Dutch, and Danish. The book took hold of deep thinkers of the time rather than mere novel readers.

Mary was also a social activist and philanthropist that worked hard for the poor and for women's rights. While she supported higher education of women, she opposed the suffrage movement, becoming the first president of the Anti-Suffrage League in 1908. While she was criticized by some for her unimaginative writing, her novels were based

on actual people and events and were a reflection of the intellectual and social climate of her day.

In 1890, Mrs. Ward became identified with a scheme known as

"University Hall", London. Here were given lectures in the interest of modern theism and the liberal views of the Bible.

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