Buxton, Bertha H. (DNB00)

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BUXTON, BERTHA H. (1844–1881), novelist, was born on 26 July 1844, and when only a girl of eleven years amused herself by writing stories for her schoolfellows at Queen's College, Tufnell Park, London. Both her parents were Germans, her mother being Madame Therese Leopold, well known in musical circles, and with them she travelled in America, Germany, and Holland during her fourteenth and fifteenth years. At sixteen she was married to Henry Buxton, club manager and author, but still pursued her literary work as an amusement, translating a German operetta into English, and writing a modest one-volume novel, which was published at her husband's expense, under the title of ‘Percy's Wife.’ In 1875 she suddenly found herself poverty-stricken, and, becoming entirely dependent on her own exertions, she turned to writing for a living. In 1876 appeared her novel, ‘Jennie of the Prince's, by B. H. B.,’ dealing with theatrical life, which she had studied as a walking lady on the stage at Exeter. The book was a success. She wrote a serial for the ‘World’ during the following year, bringing out during the same period ‘Won! By the Author of “Jennie of the Prince's,”’ and a story for children entitled ‘Rosabella,’ published under the name of ‘Auntie Bee.’ From this period she wrote under her own name, and the following Christmas brought out another child's book, entitled ‘More Dolls,’ illustrated by Mr. T. D. White, and dedicated to the Princess of Wales. Shortly afterwards Mrs. Buxton met with an accident which rendered work impossible. Somewhat recovering, she produced ‘Fetterless though Bound together’ (1879); ‘Great Grenfell Gardens’ (1879); ‘Nell—On and Off the Stage;’ and ‘From the Wings’ (1880). The last two novels first appeared in ‘Tinsley's Magazine.’ Her other books were ‘Many Loves’ (1880), ‘Little Pops, a nursery romance’ (1881), and ‘Sceptre and King’ (1881). In collaboration with William Willhem Fenn she brought out ‘Oliver Gay, a Rattling Story of Field, Fright, and Fight,’ in 1880, and a tale called ‘A Noble Name’ in a volume published by him in 1883. She died very suddenly from heart disease, at Claremont Villa, 12 St. Mary's Terrace, Kensington, London, on 31 March 1881.

[Tinsley's Magazine, xxviii. 499–500 (1881); The Carisbrooke Magazine, with portrait, April 1881.]

G. C. B.