Dinah Mulock Craik is now best known as the author of John Halifax, Gentleman (1856) but in her lifetime was highly regarded as an essayist, travel writer and poet, as well as a prolific novelist.
She was born in 1826, in Stoke-on-Trent, the daughter of Thomas Mulock, a nonconformist minister, and his wife, Dinah Mellard. When Mulock (a charismatic but unstable figure) lost his chapel, Dinah helped her mother keep a school in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Dinah's education seems to have been slightly miscellaneous. However she studied French and Italian, and knew enough Latin to teach the language to some of her young pupils. The family moved to London in 1839. Thomas Mulock deserted his children following the death of his …
Brown, Sarah. "Dinah Craik". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 July 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1057, accessed 25 October 2016.]