Mrs Humphry Ward: Marcella (1940 words)


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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 rehearses the c…

Citation: Argyle, Gisela. "Marcella". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 September 2013 [, accessed 14 June 2021.]

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