Frequently asked questions about Mary Ward:

Why did Ward oppose Women's Suffrage?

What is the correct name? Mary Augusta Ward, Mrs. Humphry Ward, or what?

Where can I find books by Ward?


What is the correct name? Mary Augusta Ward, Mrs. Humphry Ward, or what?

The conventions are changing. Until recently, Ward has always been known as "Mrs. Humphry Ward," and anyone pursuing information about her, will need to search for material using that name and "Mary Ward."

The change reflects changing conventions for referring to many other nineteenth-century women writers. As women have gained more respect in general, critics have chosen to use parallel language for writers of both sexes: after all, we give Charles Dickens his first name, so why not do the same for women writers, rather than identifying them by their marital status. "Miss Dickinson" is now "Emily Dickinson." Long ago, critics stopped referring to "Mrs. Cross" or "Mrs. Lewes," and accepted the name "George Eliot," the nom de plume of Marian Evans. More recently, critics talked abut "Mrs. Gaskell," but this author is now called "Elizabeth Gaskell." The change is less complete with the author whose books were once attributed to "Mrs. Henry Wood," but she is generally called "Ellen Wood." Because authors like Wood and Ward published using their husbands' names and because many people know them only by the names on the covers of their books, it is a good practice to provide both names for clarity:
Mary (Mrs. Humphry) Ward


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Why did she choose to be published under the name "Mrs. Humphry Ward"?

No one knows the answer to this for sure.

Some other people's theories:
The problem with these theories:
My own theories:

While the theories about identifying with her husband can't be completely rejected, I don't find them very persuasive for the reasons I've given. Two other possible explanations make more sense to me:


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Which name is preferable today?


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Why did Ward oppose Women's Suffrage?

Not yet distilled for web use.


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Where can I find books by Ward?

Other than Marcella, all Ward's books are currently out of print or available only with expensive library bindings. To locate copies, try the following:

  1. Libraries: Most of the books have been out of print for so long that small public libraries are unlikely to carry them, but large public libraries and most good college and university libraries will have some books by Ward. And even small libraries offer interlibrary loan services to patrons.
  2. Your Local Used Bookstores: You'd be surprised what you can find. Ward's books also show up at antique malls, frequently at very reasonable prices, like $3 or $4.
  3. Online: There are several excellent online services that list holdings of bookstores throughout the world. Three good ones are
  4. Searching tip: Either search by "Ward" (no first name) + title, or search under multiple names: (Ward, Humphry; Ward, Humphrey; Ward, Mary Augusta). Many people use the misspelling "Humphrey," so using that spelling will uncover copies you might otherwise miss.

    Caution: Searching under "Ward, Mary" will yield mostly items not by this author.


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