Thursday, 29 May 2014

Harriet Parr in Shanklin

I've just been reading about another now-unsung Victorian female novelist, Harriet Parr (1828-1900), who wrote under the pseudonym Holme Lee. Although Yorkshire-born, she spent the latter half of her life in Shanklin, Isle of Wight, which appears in some of her works.

image from The Sphere
March 10, 1910
see below for explanation
As the Wikipedia entry says, she was very prolific, producing a novel a year from around 1853-1883, as well as some religious and children's works, and writing (as an associate of Charles Dickens - see Dickens Journals Online) for the periodicals Household Words and All the Year Round. Her novels are not really in my spectrum. Writing for the rather anodyne circulating library market, they tended to be romantic family sagas of less intensity of plot and description that Maxwell Gray's (John Sutherland's Stanford companion to Victorian fiction characterises them as concerning "depictions of shy maidens and their decent love problems"). However, some are of distinct regional interest for their descriptions of Shanklin.

I first ran into this regional detail in a New Zealand newspaper:
One book especially ("For Richer for Poorer") brought out some of the most charming traits of the authoress; writing of the village of Shanklin, she delineates her characters with a wonderful delicacy of feeling—e.g., the disappointed curate, Harry Lamplugh (the Rev. C[harles] Hole.), then residing only a few yards from her. Again, she describes Mrs Jenkins, of the Old Library, and the little Jenkinses, the window of the room of the baker's house (Vine cottage) from which the village gossips could see all who came or went through the village street.
- Harriet Parr, Southland Times, Issue 14662, 6 June 1900, page 4
For Richer, for Poorer is findable through the Hathi Trust (cat ref 011405669). It fictionalises Shanklin as "Whitburn", and there's a particularly detailed introductory description in chapter XIX ("Whitburn-on-Sea"). A sample, which gives a detailed description of Shanklin Old Village:

Shanklin Old Village, Pictures in Colour of the Isle of Wight, Jarrold & Sons, 1910
From the same high ground, they had their first glimpse of Whitburn village. It followed the course of the brook, between two slopes of down, where the water had worn a deep chine to the shore. It appeared from the distance a pretty paradise in a hollow, with a church-spire and red-tiled roofs amongst green trees—for there were trees all about the houses, and gardens with hedges of tamarisk down to the sea. The travellers approached it from the north-east, by a long winding road, and came first to the church and the ancient manor-house, now turned into a farmstead; then to the placid parsonage and a cluster of humble straw-thatched cottages, much more than half-buried in ivy-bushes; and, at a double bend of the road, where it began to climb the opposite hill, to the village proper. Here, on an elevated lawn, stood the chief hotel and a lowlier house-of-call nearly facing it, both thatched, like the cottages, as to their roofs, and as to their walls trellised with roses and myrtles, jessamine and virginian creeper. A splendid passion-flower festooned the front of the library and bazaar which had choice apartments to let up-stairs; and a thick-clustered vine was trained over the orthodox baker-and-grocer’s dwelling, the side window of whose parlour looked up the street, past the butcher’s open stall and a long interval of luxuriant hedge, to a few picturesque detached lodging-houses recently built upon the heights. Within view of this window (a rare look-out for village gossips) two roads struck off in opposite directions—one leading to the cliff, the shore, and the garden-gates of the modern lodgings, the other to tangled lanes and woods and fields, and the convenient old house which the curate had chosen for his new home.

Mary’s quick observant eyes made notes of a few gay figures pacing the green lawn of the hotel; of a group of loud-talking, amphibious men in the forecourt of the “Crab and Lobster;” of a quaint old philosopher, taking in the cheap novels and newspapers which garnished a rack outside the library door; of a couple of women with baskets exchanging news on the steps of the baker-and-grocer’s shop, where the errand-boy was putting up the shutters. Then the jaded horses slackened their pace to breast the hill, and quickened it again as the driver turned them off the main road into the rough track across the goose-green, which developed into a shady lane at the further side.
- pp 266-268, Volume 1, For Richer, for Poorer, by Holme Lee [pseud.] v.1. Lee, Holme, 1828-1900, Hathi Trust, Cat. 011405669.
Shanklin Chine is, of course, mentioned, and one character is a Mrs Ducie who lives in the Chine Cottage. There are references to Shanklin in other Harriet Parr works, Against Wind and Tide (1859, Internet Archive againstwindandt00parrgoog) is a romantic saga set in "Chinelyn" - a thinly-disguised Shanklin - and which has its central location a manor house strongly based on Shanklin Manor ...
To the north-east of the church stands the Manor House, familiar to the readers of Holme Lee's "Against "Wind and Tide," square built, with high peaked roof, heavy cornice, and long easements of the early part of the last century.
- p 47, A guide to the Undercliff of the Isle of Wight, Shanklin and Blackgang, Edmund Venables, 1876
... which still exists, converted into upmarket holiday apartments.  Against Wind and Tide as a very nice description, still accurate, of the Chine:
The Chine was an immense rift into the body of the earth, at the bottom of which rushed a narrow but impetuous torrent; at its head, this torrent poured over a lofty slab of rock, and formed a miniature waterfall, whence the spray rose in glittering clouds. The sinuosities of the rift, which the rude steps and pathways were obliged to follow, perpetually disclosed lovely surprises in /the scenery. For five minutes, Cyrus walked through a green gloom of overhanging verdure, almost as rich and various in its spring colouring as when the trees have put on their warmer autumnal robes. Then he crossed a frail plank bridge, thrown over the abyss, and found himself exposed to the full rays of the afternoon sunshine between too earthy cliffs, all bare and black. A little farther, and as the Chine widened, the foliage became still richer and more 'luxuriant. Through the branches of elms, beeches, chestnuts, and sycamores, the yellow light filtered down upon emerald grasses, with here and there a vivid patch of wild flowers, such as love a moist, vaporous atmosphere. An occasional froit-tree, foil of pink and white blossoms, and the bright dark leaves of a holly or laurel, still further diversified the hues of the picture, and looking upwards to the narrow band of sky which roofed the Chine, light, feathery branches of fir, of yew, of alder, and hazel, were seen waving against the blue. The cliffs near the water were clothed with a close, dark green velvety lichen, and from many a cleft and crevice hung down long tendrils of the small vein-leaved ivy and ribbon-like tassels of the glossy hart's-tongue fern. Such a mellowness of warm light sufiused the air, such a silence, except for the trickling music of the waterfall, and the lapping of the tide upon the shore, that Cyrus, ever open to impressions and beguilements of beauty, lingered there longer than his wont. There is a moral meaning and a moral influence in the varying scenes and seasons of earth, to which imaginative minds are peculiarly susceptible, and as he idled through this wilderness of verdant beauty, his spirits rose to a wild exaltation, as if the youth of the spring and the youth in his veins ran with a swifter, warmer current in this budding May-time of the year than at any other.
- pp 20-21, Against Wind and Tide
Harriet Parr's series of autobiographical essays In the Silver Age: Essays, "that Is, Dispersed Meditations" (1864) - which the ODNB entry describes as "depressing" - also has descriptions of the Shanklin area. Parr describes as it as "the philosophy of a working-woman's life", the result of gentle pressure from advisers to write something other than novels. They're less interesting than you'd think; the big problem is she gives (presumably out of concerns for privacy) no specifics of names and places when you want them - for instance, the name of the "great house" she visited in the Undercliff.

Volume 1 leads with three linked essays, Through the Woods (a detailed description of the author's April walk down the lane from her house to cross the stream that feeds Shanklin Chine and walk up past the Manor House); Through the Landslip—Over the Downs; and By the Sea-Shore (which takes us down Shanklin Chine to the beach). Further sections include Village LifeQuiet Life (musings on her quite life in Shanklin); Old Familiar FacesOld Familiar Places (a return to her native York); From Day to Day (more of her Shanklin Life); and Summer Holidays (a visit to France). Volume 2 is an continuing mix of Continental travelogue and increasingly wistful mid-life musings (she was actually only 36, but according to Lord Ernle's account below, seems to have gone prematurely grey).

See the Hathi Trust (Cat. 011612168) for links to both volumes.

The frontispices have pleasant engravings of Isle of Wight scenes: Volume 1 has "The Lane", which appears to be what's now Manor Road, the route from the author's house across the manor grounds toward St Blasius Old Parish Church (the one whose right of way she disputed); Volume 2 is the view from Nansen Hill across Luccombe to Culver (compare Google Maps).

"The Lane"

image for the essay "A Bit of Sunshine"
You can access many more Harriet Parr works through the Internet Archive (search creator:"Harriet Parr" and creator:"Holme Lee"). A quick Google shows that some of the others mention the Isle of Wight in passing.

There are few descriptions of Harriet Parr herself. The Isle of Wight County Press obituary for February 24, 1900 says she was "of a most retiring nature and shunned publicity for herself in any form" and Allingham wrote of meeting her at a social gathering:
To Mrs. Barnard's, South Eaton Place. Madame Sainton-Dolby, Miss Ingelow. Little Miss Parr, who writes novels as ' Holme Lee,' looked nice in a high dress of lavender silk, like a quiet little old-maidish governess. Miss Thackeray accosted her, and so did I; we spoke of the Isle of Wight, New Forest, etc. 'London fatigues me,' she said: 'going to Dulwich to-morrow.' As we drove home Miss Thackeray exclaimed of one of the guests; 'Horrid woman!' she said to me, "I have been much pleased with some of your efforts," and, "You must have felt leaving that  nice house in Palace Gardens!" but little Holme Lee's a duck.'
- p179, William Allingham, a diary (1907, Internet Archive williamallingham00alli)
Lord Enle (Rowland Edmund Prothero, 1st Baron Ernle) met her in his early teens:
Hurrying home, I rushed out into the garden to tell my mother of my discovery, and found her sitting with Harriet Parr, a well-known novelist, who had come to stay at Whippingham. My mother's excitement exceeded my own. The volume might be Reynolds's own copy and contain manuscript notes! As soon as her horse could be brought round, she explained to her guest the urgency of the occasion, and, committing Miss Parr to my care as host, rode off to Newport. Within the hour she was back, waving the book in triumph. Meanwhile, as soon as I had recovered from my awe of a live authoress, Miss Parr and I had become friends. She had made her pen-name of Holme Lee famous, and was a "best-seller" both in England and America. She was, as I remember her, a frail-looking little woman, with crinkly grey hair, delicate features, and mittened blue-veined hands. Her domestic novels, written in a style as simple and unaffected as herself, were of the sentimental type. The whole incident is dated for me by her gift of her novel, Sylvan Holt's Daughter, with the inscription, “To my kind host of July 1864”.
- Whippingham to Westminster: The Reminiscences of Lord Ernle (Rowland Prothero), John Murray, 1938
Despite her general dislike of publicity, she wasn't without literary acquaintances.
On one occasion, about the year 1873, the then four or five most noted Women writers of the day determined to meet and make each others’ acquaintance, choosing a rendezvous in the Isle of Wight which happened at the moment to suit them all. They were Miss Yonge, Miss Parr (Holme Lee), Miss Sewell, and Miss Ingelow. I am not certain, but Miss Dinah Muloch [sic] may have been of the party. Perhaps the wittiest of the four described the meeting to me. “Well, what did you think when they all walked in?” I asked my informant. “ Think? I thought that such a party of dowdy women would be hard to match all the world over, but Jean Ingelow, who was possibly the youngest of us, and who came straight from London, had managed to make herself the greatest frump of all!”
Personal Recollections of Jean Ingelow, the home-poet, G. B. Stuart, Lippincott's Monthly Magazine - Volume 77, 1906, p 312
(Dinah Mulock was the maiden name of the author Dinah Mulock Craik, who I've mentioned in a later post, Ferny Bank House of Rest for Women in Business).

22nd May, 2015: I'm delighted to finally trace the portrait of Harriet Parr published in 1910 in The Sphere and said to have been commissioned by Queen Victoria. I don't know if I merely hit on the keyword(s) at last, or if it's only just been made available online. Anyhow, here it is.

One of the Queen's favourite novelists"
The Sphere, March 10, 1910.
To a number of novel readers the only woman writer of the name of Parr is Mrs. Parr, or Louisa Parr, author of Dorothy Fox and other novels equally successful. Within the last few days, however, there has died at the age of seventy-two a writer, Miss Harriet Parr, who, under the name of "Holme Lee," wrote a long succession of three-volume novels, which had an immense vogue in their day. The works of Miss Harriet Parr, indeed, were long credited with being the favourite realing of the Queen. In that invaluable treasure-house of knowledge, “Allibone,” I find no less than thirty novels attributed to Miss Parr, commencing with Maud Talbot in 1854, and concluding with Loving and Serving—also issued in three volumes—in 1883. Miss Parr, it may be hoped, led a very happy life, unchequered by “booms" and their consequent reaction, otherwise it might have been a pang for her old age that she had lived through two epochs, one of which declared her to be a writer of undying literary genius, and the other that had never even heard her name. I give here a portrait of Miss Parr as she appeared in the days of her popularity. It has a particular interest, as it was taken at the request of the Queen, who was first attracted to her work by a story called Poor Dick in one of Charles Dickens's Christmas numbers.
- page 236, A Literary Letter, The Sphere (An Illustrated Newspaper for the Home), March 10, 1910.
According to the ODNB, there is/was an 1848 oil portrait of her painted by George Lance: older editions say it belonged "to her brother, Mr. George Parr, of 31 Canonbury Park" but the current location, assuming it to even be extant, is just described as "formerly priv. coll.".

W Gordon Gorman's 1910 Converts to Rome : a biographical list of the more notable converts to the Catholic Church in the United Kingdom during the last sixty years lists her as a Catholic convert (p 211) - though with no date or source, and the errors of calling her "Mrs Parr" and "Holm Lee".

Accounts variously give her Shanklin address as"Fern Bank" (Venables, A Guide to the Undercliff, 1867), "Whitwell House" (White's gazetteer, 1878), "Whitwell Mead" (various including ...)
Miss Harriet Parr, formerly very well known as a writer of the old-fashioned three-volumed novel type, lived for years at Whitwell Mead, a house on the bridle road from Shanklin to Godshill
-  page 145, Wanderings in the Isle of Wight, Ethel C Hargrove, 1913
... "Whittle Mead" (IWCP obituary, February 24, 1900) and "Whittle Meade" (IWCP, executor's sale, Saturday, May 5, 1900). I haven't yet been able to identify the precise location; it's probably somewhere near the present-day Fernbank hotel, near St Blasius Rectory.

In the 1870s onward, she got into a long-running dispute over a right-of-way issue concerning what's now Manor Road, which confirms this location.
At the last meeting of the Isle of Wight County Commissioners the Clark read some communications with respect to the locking the gate of a private road by the lord of the manor, Mr. F. White-Popham.This road he declared a private  road, and that he should defend it against any who might think proper to dispute it.
The Clark also read a letter from a Miss Parr, lessee of a house in the manor of Shanklin, who likewise complained of the road being closed, mention of the road as a short cut to the church having induced her to take the lease of her house.
- County Petty Sessions, Isle of Wight Observer (Ryde, England), Saturday, June 19, 1875; pg. 6; Issue 1179. 19th Century British Library Newspapers: Part II.
It was still ongoing in 1887...
"The lady doth protest too much" must, I should imagine, have been the comment of many of your readers after perusing the letter of Miss Harriet Parr, in your last week's issue, on the Shanklin footpath question. Zeal in behalf of a supposed public right cannot be accepted as an excuse for misrepresentation. I believe I am correct in stating that the question which this lady has re-opened was fully discussed and settled locally many years ago, and if Miss Parr is not satisfied with that settlement, the Courts are open to her.
- Occasional Jottings, Isle of Wight County Press, Saturday, November 19, 1887, page 5 (reproduced as fair usage, Isle of Wight County Press Archive
... and in 1889:
The clerk said he had received some communications from Miss Parr respecting an alleged right of way near the Manor House, Shanklin.—Mr G. Way: Is it the same question that has arisen before?—The Clerk said he believed that it was, but as far as he could understand, the lady said she had got some fresh evidence.—Mr J.O. Brook suggested that the surveyor should report—The Chairman said he did not know what there was to report upon.
The Clerk said he could not understand Miss Parr's letter without going on the spot.—Mr G. Way: Are there any complaints from the public generally?—The Clerk: No.—Mr G. Way thought they were not called upon as a Board to enter into the grievance of one individual.—The Clerk was instructed to reply to Miss Parr that no sufficient reason had been shown for reopening the question.
- Isle of Wight Highway Commissioners, Isle of Wight County Press, Saturday, March 23, 1889, page 3 (reproduced as fair usage, Isle of Wight County Press Archive
Harriet Parr died on 18th February 1900. Her grave (also that of her sister Frances "Fanny" Parr, to whom In the Silver Age is dedicated) is in the churchyard of St Blasius, Shanklin (see the graveyard plan).

Update, 21st May 2015
See Harriet Parr: bibliography, "Tuflongbo", and a dog's life for some images and commentary relating to Harriet Parr's children's stories: the rather strange Tuflongbo elf stories, and the canine tear-jerker Poor Match: his life, adventures and death.

I just collated several contemporary partial bibliographies - notably that in The Bibliophile library of literature, art and rare manuscripts (New York, London: The International Bibliophile Society, 1904?, Internet Archive bibliophilelibra10inte) - along with other titles that surfaced on the way. The majority of Harriet Parr's works are, it can be seen, 'triple-decker' novels published by Smith, Elder and Company; and the great majority of all her known works are, rather to my surprise, findable online. But there are no doubt more, particularly in the Charles Dickens stable of magazines (many are in her two-volume Country Stories anthology, and were easily cross-checked). In others, such as Household Words, her work appears uncredited in various Christmas issue specials co-written by Dickens, Wilkie Collins and others (see, for instance, examples listed on page xi in Lillian Nayder's 2002 Unequal Partners: Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, and Victorian Authorship.

  • Maud Talbot (1854) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive - Vol. 1 maudetalbotbyho02parrgoog / Vol. 2 maudetalbotbyho00parrgoog / Vol. 3 maudetalbotbyho01parrgoog).
  • Gilbert Massenger (1854) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive gilbertmassenge00parrgoog).
  • Thorney Hall (1855) - "A Story of an Old Family" (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive thorneyhallbyho00parrgoog).
  • The Post-Mistress (Household Words, Oct 27, 1885, pages 305-309).
  • The Poor Pensioner (Household Words, 1855, pages 31-35, Google Books V2kEAAAAQAAJ). This is an uncredited story in the December 15, 1855, Christmas edition of Charles Dickens's Household Words. A letter by Dickens (Pilgrim, 7:721) identifies the author as Parr.
  • Madame Freschon's (Household Words, April 26, 1856) - same text as The Wortlebank Diary.
  • Kathie Brande (1856) - "Fireside History of a Quiet Life" (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive kathiebrandebyh00parrgoog).
  • My Blind Sister (Household Words, May 31, 1856). Later reprinted in The Catholic Record (Vol. V. No. 25, May 1873). See DJO.
  • Milverston Worthies (Household Words, July 19, 1856) - same text as The Wortlebank Diary.
  • Two-Pence an Hour (Household Words, August 23, 1856, pages 138-140).
  • Poor Dick's story in The beguilement in the boats (Household Words, 1856, pages 31ff). This is part of a collaborative shipwreck narrative The Wreck of the Golden Mary in the December 6, 1856, Christmas edition of Household Words. TP Cooper's "Harriet Parr and Her Association with 'Household Words'", The Dickensian, 16 (1920), identifies her as the author.
  • Hear my prayer, O heavenly Father (hymn lyrics, 1856). Parr wrote these, which appear in Poor Dick's story as mentioned above.
  • Sylvan Holt's Daughter (1858) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive - Vol. 1 sylvanholtsdaug01parrgoog / Vol. 2 sylvanholtsdaug00parrgoog / Vol. 3 sylvanholtsdaug02parrgoog).
  • Against Wind and Tide (1859) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive - Vol 1. againstwindandt03parrgoog / Vol. 2 againstwindandt01parrgoog / Vol. 3 againstwindandt02parrgoog). Single-volume edition: againstwindandt00parrgoog).
  • Hawksview (1859) - "family history of our own times" - (New York: W.A. Townsend and Company, Internet Archive hawksviewfamilyh00leeh).
  • The Wortlebank Diary: and some old stories from Kathie Brande's portfolio (1860) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive - Vol. 1 wortlebankdiary01parrgoog / Vol. 2 wortlebankdiary02parrgoog / Vol. 3 wortlebankdiary00parrgoog).
  • Le Rose et le gris, scènes de la vie anglaise (C-D Forgues, Paris: L. Hachette, 1860, Google Books 13UTAAAAQAAJ). One segment of this - Thorney Hall, annales d'une ancienne famille - is a credited French translation of Thorney Hall.
  • Legends From Fairy Land: Narrating The History Of Prince Glee and Princess Trill (and "the cruel persecutions and condign punishment of Aunt Spite, the adventures of the great Tuflongbo, and the story of the Blackcap in the Giant's Well") - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive legendsfromfair00leegoog).
  • The Wonderful Adventures of Tuflongbo and His Elfin Company in Their Journey with Little Content Through the Enchanted Forest (1861) - "with eight illustrations by W. Sharpe" - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive wonderfuladvent00parrgoog).
  • Warp and Woof, or, The Reminiscences of Doris Fletcher (1861) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive - Vol. 1 warpandwooforre02parrgoog / Vol. 2 warpandwooforre01parrgoog / Vol. 3 warpandwooforre00parrgoog).
  • Tuflongbo's journey in search of ogres (1862) - "with six illustrations by H. Sanderson" - Internet Archive tuflongbosjourn00parrgoog).
  • Annis Warleigh's Fortunes (1863) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive - Vol. 1 anniswarleighsf00parrgoog / Vol 2. anniswarleighsf01parrgoog / Vol. 3 anniswarleighsf02parrgoog).
  • The true pathetic history of Poor Match: his life, adventures and death "with four illustrations" [by Walter Crane] - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, 1863). The later Warne edition (London: Frederick Warne & Co; New York: Scribner, Welford & Co., date ????, Google Books Z8IBAAAAQAAJ) just bills it as Poor Match: his life, adventures and death. It's a children's story, the cradle-to-grave story of a dog - and in fact not at all the relentless tragedy the original title suggests.
  • In the Silver Age, "Essays —"That is, dispersed meditations" (1864) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, two volumes. Hathitrust 011612168 links to both, hosted at Harvard University).
  • The Life and Death of Jeanne D'Arc, Called the Maid (1866) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive - Vol. 1 TheLifeAndDeathOfJeanneDArc / Vol. 2 TheLifeAndDeathOfJeanneDArcV2).
  • Mr. Wynyard's Ward (1867) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive- Vol. 1 mrwynyardsward01leeh / Vol. 2 mrwynyardsward02leeh).
  • Basil Godfrey's Caprice (1868) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive - Vol. 1 basilgodfreyscap01leeh / Vol. 2 basilgodfreyscap02leeh / Vol. 3 basilgodfreyscap03leeh).
  • Contrast, or The Schoolfellows (1868) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Hathitrust 011633816).
  • Holme Lee's Fairy Tales (London: Frederick Warne & Co., New York: Scribner, Welford & Co., 1869, Internet Archive holmeleesfairyt00leegoog). This is a collected edition of the "Tuflongbo" stories.
  • Maurice and Eugénie de Guérin. A monograph (Harriet Parr, London: Chapman & Hall, 1870, Google Books 61MBAAAAQAAJ).
  • For Richer, For Poorer (by "Holme Lee", 1870, two volumes. Tauchnitz edition - Hathitrust 011405669 links to both vols at Cornell).
  • Her Title of Honour (1871) - (Leipzig: Tauchnitz edition, Google Books MHlMAAAAcAAJ).
  • The Beautiful Miss Barrington (1871) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive - Vol. 1 beautifulmissba00parrgoog / Vol. 2 beautifulmissba01parrgoog / Vol. 3 beautifulmissba02parrgoog).
  • Country Stories, Old and New, in prose and verse (1872) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive - Vol. 1 countrystoriesol01leeh / Vol. 2 countrystoriesol02leeh). The stories are themed chronologically to fit the course of a year over the two volumes, and the intro says: "These stories, chiefly reprinted from various periodicals, have been revised and arranged by the Author".
    Volume 1:
    • Polly's One Offer - orig. in All the Year Round, June 13, 1868; and Harper's Bazaar, July 18, 1868.
    • Hawkswell Place - poem, orig. in Household Words, August 23, 1856.
    • Coming into a Fortune - orig. in All the Year Round, December 20, 1862.
    • By the Shore of Life - poem, orig. as The Life Shore, uncredited in the anthology Echoes of many voices from many lands, by A.F. (1865).
    • Lady Seamer's Long Step - orig. as Lady Seamer's Escape in All the Year Round, December 29, 1860.
    • The Grave in the Moorland - poem, orig. in Household Words, July 5, 1856.
    • Rufus Helstone - orig. in All the Year Round, January 26, 1867.
    • St. Mark's Eve.
    • Under the Rose - orig. in All the Year Round, February 20, 1864.
    • Lost on the Shore - poem. It later appears as a recitation piece in the 1880 The Modern Elocutionist.
    • Three Nights by Ashpool - orig. as Three Nights by Ash-Pool in All the Year Round, July 23, 1859.
    • The Holy Well - poem, orig. in The Living Age, 1856.
    • Too Prudent by half; or, Proud Nelly Kingsland - this seems to be original to the anthology.
    Volume 2:
    • The Chetwyndes - orig. in The Living Age, No.789, 9 July, 1859.
    • The Love-Test - poem.
    • Sibyl's Disappointment - orig. in Cornhill Magazine (June 1863) then The Living Age (1863).
    • May Margaret - poem.
    • The Sighing Shade - poem, orig. in Household Words, February 28, 1857.
    • The Skeleton in the Closet - orig. in All the Year Round, March 9, 1867.
    • Sir Ralph and Lady Jean - poem, orig. in The Living Age (Vol. LIV, 1857).
    • The Sanctuary in the Mountains - this appears to be original to the anthology.
    • An Autumn Shadow - poem, orig. uncredited in Deane's Illustrated Family Almanack (1865, page 58) then Household Words (September 27, 1856).
    • Lina Fernie - orig. in Household Words, November 20, 1858.
    • Shadows - poem, orig. as Shadows of Real Life in Frank Leslie's New Family Magazine (Vol. III, No, 5-27, November 1858) and The National Magazine (Vol. 4, 1858).
    • Jenny's Vocation - this appears to be original to the anthology.
    • The Haunted Mere - poem, orig. as Too Late! (Household Words, April 19, 1856). This seems to have been quite liked, as it later made it into both an 1878 edition of The Modern Elocutionist and The classic and the beautiful from the literature of three thousand years (1888)
    • A Winter Wedding in the Wolds - orig. as A Winter Wedding-Party in the Wilds (Cornhill Magazine, Volume 1, No.3, March 1860).
  • Echoes of a Famous Year; the story of the Franco-German War [1870-1871 in Paris] (by "Harriet Parr, Miss", 1872, Bodleian Library 014106729 - links to digitised copy).
  • Katherine's Trial (Leipzig: Tauchnitz edition 1873, Hathitrust 008669768 links to digitised copy at New York Public Library).
  • The Vicissitudes of Bessie Fairfax (1874) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive - Vol. 1 / Vol. 2 vicissitudesbes00parrgoog) / Vol. 3 vicissitudesbes01parrgoog).
  • This Work-a-day World (1875) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive - Vol. 1 thisworkadaywor02parrgoog / Vol 2. thisworkadaywor01parrgoog / Vol. 3 thisworkadaywor00parrgoog).
  • Ben Milner's Wooing (1876) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive benmilnerswooin00parrgoog).
  • Straightforward (1878) - Leipzig, B. Tauchnitz. Three volumes.Hathitrust 011405671 - catalogue link only.
  • Mrs. Denys of Cote (1880) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive - Vol. 1 mrsdenysofcotein01leeh / Vol. 2 mrsdenysofcotein02leeh / Vol. 3 mrsdenysofcotein03leeh).
  • A Poor Squire (1882). Hathitrust 011250425 - catalogue link only.
  • Loving and Serving (1883) -  (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive - Vol. 3 only lovingandservin00collgoog).

- Ray

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