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Mary Augusta Ward

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Mary Augusta Ward
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Mary Augusta Ward

Mary Augusta Ward (June 11, 1851March 26, 1920), was a novelist.

Born Mary Augusta Arnold in Hobart, Tasmania, she grew up in a literary environment with a father who was a professor of literature and as a young lady married Thomas Ward, a writer/editor.

Mary Augusta Ward began her career writing articles for magazines while working on a book for children that was published in 1881 under the title Milly and Olly. Her novels contained strong religious subject matter relevant to Victorian values she herself practised. Mrs. Ward helped establish an organization for working and teaching among the poor and was one of the founders of the Women's National Anti-Suffrage League in 1908. In this latter vein, some of her writings were under the name "Mrs. Humphry Ward."

In the summer of 1908 she was asked by Lord Curzon and William Cremer to become the first president of Britain’s Anti-Suffrage League. Ward agreed and took on the job creating editing the Anti-Suffrage Review. Using her writing skills she published a large number of articles on the subject and two of her novels, The Testing of Diana Mallory and a Delia Blanchflower, were used as platform's to criticize the suffragettes. 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 and other rights that the men's anti-suffrage movement would not tolerate.

During World War I, she was asked by Theodore Roosevelt to write a series of articles to explain to Americans what was happening in Britain during the war.

Mary Augusta Ward died in London, England, and was interred at Aldbury in Hertfordshire.

Ward was granddaughter of Thomas Arnold of Rugby, and aunt to Julian and Aldous Huxley.

Missing image
Milly_and_Olly_-_Project_Gutenberg_13337.jpg
The cover of Milly and Olly, illustrated by Ruth M. Hallock and published by Doubleday, Page & Company in 1914

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