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Anne Marsh-Caldwell

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Published : 4 Articles
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Date of Birth : N/A
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Marsh, Anne (Caldwell), prob. I Mrs. Marsh I, 1791–1874, novelist, know after 1858 as Mrs. Marsh-Caldwell. Born in Staffordshire; daughter of recorder of Newcastle-under-Lyme. Receiced a "careful education" (Cyclopaedia of Female Biography). In 1817 married Arthur Cuthbert Marsah (d. 1849), junior partner in London banking firm. On death of her brother, 1858, assumed by Royal license additional surnam of Caldwell. Author of some twenty-five works of fction; most of them published anonymously, in deference to her husband's wish that the mother of his daughters not be known "as the author of what the world might consider second-rate novels" (Martineau, Autobiography, I, 284). Among her most praised writings were Two Old Men's Tales, 1834; Mount Sorel, 1845; Emilia Wyndham, 1846. At least oen of her tales serialized in a periodical before appearing in book form: Lettice Arnold, in Ladies' Companion, 1850. Published The Protestant Reformation in France, 1847, and some translations from the French. 


      Mrs. Marsh and Dickens were acquainted (Dickens to Alfred Hachette, June 9, 1856).
      Dickens took great pain in revising "The Spendthrift's Daughter." In a letter to Wills, Oct. 8, 1851, he wrote that he had undertaken to correct the story so as to show Mrs. Marsh what he considered "its faults of details"; he instructed Wills to be particularly careful that the correction were printed with scrupulous accuracy, repeating the admonition in a floowing letter of the same date (MSS Huntingdon Library). On Oct. 9, he wrote to Wills: "Mrs. Marsh's story [name omitted in Nonesuch Letters; reads Marsh in MS Huntingdon Library] will be very good now, I think. It would be as easy (almost) to write one, as I found it to get point and terseness out of such an infernal hash." Dickens himself sent the author payment for the story (Office Book: "£20 per C.D.").
      A commendatory reference to Mrs. Marsh's novels appeared in the H.W. article "Doctor Dulcamara, M.P.," written by Wilkie Collins and to some extend revised by Dickens: to recover from the effcet produced by reading The Heir of Redclyffe, stated the article, the writer had had recourse to the "restoratives" provided by better women novelists than Charlotte Younge, among them Mrs. Marsh.
                                                                                                                                                                                                   D.N.B.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

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