MRS. HUMPHRY WARD by Enid Huws Jones

MRS. HUMPHRY WARD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A very respectable biography of Mary Arnold Ward who came by her eminent achievements (however much we have forgotten them) honestly as the granddaughter of Thomas Arnold, niece of Matthew, and in turn as aunt of Aldous and Thomas Huxley. Her own cleverness and lively curiosity were established early on (even if the photographs here do not corroborate those ""good looks"") and she grew up in Oxford to marry tutor and anthologist Humphry (Ward's Poets -- a staple), to bear him three children and to write her most famous novel Robert Elsmere (1888) -- ""a grave book,"" also didactic and sentimental. She continued her writing which became more grounded in the social issues of the time -- as did she -- devoting herself to committees, causes (suffrage) and good works (the poor). Miss Jones' biography is quietly stated but one wishes there were more personalizing material which would make her other than a worthy woman -- as sober and sturdy as bombazine.

Pub Date: Nov. 5th, 1973
Publisher: St. Martin's Press