Mrs Humphry Ward: Marcella

(2087 words)

Marcella (1894) is the third of Ward’s five originally bestselling and best-regarded novels, with Sir George Tressady (1896) its weaker sequel. The quick, cheap, one-volume reprint of Marcella ended the dominance in Britain of the expensive three-decker and the major lending libraries’ consequent near-monopoly and power of censorship (Sutherland, 1990, pp. 147-8). Like the previous two novels, Robert Elsmere and The History of David Grieve, Marcella is a bildungsroman, but this time about a female protagonist. Developing from aspiring Lady Bountiful in the country to socialist district nurse in London, to reformist bride of the leading aristocrat of the county, Marcella …

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Argyle, Gisela. "Marcella". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 September 2013
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]