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 Ellen <I>Price</I> Wood

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Ellen Price Wood

  • Birth 17 Jan 1814
  • Death 10 Feb 1887
  • Burial Highgate, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
  • Memorial ID 6646

Novelist. Born Ellen Price the eldest daughter of manufacturer Thomas Price and his wife Elizabeth of Worcester, England. She was raised by her grandparents for the first seven years of her life where she learned to read, and became devoted to books. With the death of her grandfather, she was returned to her parents home where she became close to her father. In 1836, she married Henry Wood, who headed of a large banking and shipping firm. He was also in the consular service and the couple spent the next twenty years of their lives out of England, living primarily in the Dauphiné in the south of France. Henry proved to be impractical though generous, unimaginative but amiable, the result being a loss of his business and a couple who had little in common. Ellen writing debuted in the 1851 publication, 'Bentley's Miscellany' and after her return to England in 1856 with no prospects, she began writing in earnest. Her first novel, 'Danesbury House' written for a competition held by the Scottish Temperance League, was published in 1860. Her follow up, 'East Lynne' (1861) was highly praised and was popular enough to run to five editions. 'Mrs. Halliburton's Troubles' and 'The Channings' (both 1862), followed quickly, both had hints of a detective story, something that would be develop in her novels. She also enjoyed the occasional ghost story such as 'The Ghost' (1862) and 'The Shadow of Ashlydyat' (1863); other works included 'Lord Oakburn's Daughter' (1864); 'Mildred Arkell' (1865); 'A Life's Secret' (1867); 'Hereford' (1868); 'Roland Yorke,' a sequel to 'The Channings'; 'Bessy Wells' (1875); and Court Netherleigh (1881). After her husband's death in 1866, she bought and ran the monthly magazine 'Argosy,' which specialized in fiction, travel, and poetry. The magazine all ready had a stable of respected contributors, and proved to be an excellent showcase for her own work, much of which was serialized in its pages; her popular 'Johnny Ludlow' stories were published regularly and anonymously from 1868. She did not admit authorship for almost a decade, when they were finally published in a series of volumes from 1876 to 1879. Some regard them as her best work. Far more competent in business than her husband, she actively shaped her career, her image, and her magazine. Her works were translated into numerous languages, including Hindi and Russian; in an 1872 letter, Leo Tolstoy, praised her novel 'In the Maze' as 'wonderful.' In the last years of her life, she continued to work but shared the 'Argosy' editing duties with her son, Charles. She died at age 73, an enormously popular international bestseller. On what would have been her 100th birthday, a memorial dedicated to her was erected in Worcester Cathedral inscribed: "Author of many works of Fiction / Which have made this City and Cathedral / known throughout the English-speaking World." She used as her pen name Mrs Henry Wood, although current scholarship usually refers to her as Ellen Price Wood.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 13 Oct 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6646
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ellen Price Wood (17 Jan 1814–10 Feb 1887), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6646, citing Highgate Cemetery (West), Highgate, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .