Ellen Wood (Mrs. Henry Wood)

Andrew Scott Mangham

in Victorian Literature

ISBN: 9780199799558
Published online March 2011 | | DOI:
Ellen Wood (Mrs. Henry Wood)


Ellen (Mrs. Henry) Wood (b. 1814–d. 1887) was one of the best-selling British novelists of the 19th century. Best known for her sensational potboiler East Lynne (1861), she published over forty books in addition to reams of essays, reviews, and short stories. She was born in 1814 into the family of a successful glove manufacturer, Thomas Price, and, despite a spinal curvature that developed in adolescence and plagued her for the rest of her life, she excelled at her studies. In 1836 she married Henry Wood, and spent the next twenty years living in France. When her husband left his employment in the 1850s, for reasons that are still unclear, Mrs. Wood became her family’s main breadwinner by writing short stories for a range of family periodicals. Her first full-length novel, Danesbury House (1860), was soon followed by the vastly popular East Lynne. In 1867 Wood bought the until-then risqué periodical the Argosy and edited it until her death in 1887.

Article.  4591 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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