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Sarah Doudney

(1843—1926) children's writer and hymn writer


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(1843–1926) was born in Portsmouth and educated in Southsea. She published two poems in All the Year Round while Dickens was editor, and stories in the Churchman's Shilling Magazine in 1870. She subsequently wrote a great many school stories and morally uplifting romances for girls and young women, and a quantity of religious verse, including a once popular hymn, ‘Sleep On Beloved’. Her work is pure and dull; much of it was published by the Religious Tract Society and the Sunday School Union. Silent Strings (1900) describes the life of the five children of a doctor: the clergyman sacrifices the woman he loves because his brother wants her; the selfless eldest daughter looks after their selfish old father; the pretty girl marries a rich squire and the emigrant inherits a fortune. The plot of One of the Few (1904) is less predictable; a successful woman writer who has not married is described with some sympathy. At the end she marries the man whom she might have wasted her life propping up. Shadow and Shine (1906) describes three girls whose love affairs are nearly disastrous: one marries the right man after her fiancé is murdered, the second is happy when her lover comes back to her, and the third decides to be a useful spinster. Doudney's conventional girls' fiction is comparable to that of Rosa Nouchette Carey or Emma Marshall (1830–99).

From The Oxford Companion to Edwardian Fiction in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.



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