1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Craik, Dinah Maria

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CRAIK, DINAH MARIA (1826-1887), English novelist,better known by her maiden name of Mulock, and still better as “the author of John Halifax, Gentleman," was the daughter of Thomas Mulock, an eccentric religious enthusiast of Irish extraction, and was born on the 20th of April 1826 at Stoke-upon-Trent, in Staffordshire, where her father was the minister of a small congregation. She settled in London about 1846, determined to obtain a livelihood by her pen, and, beginning with fiction for children, advanced steadily until John Halifax, Gentleman (1857), placed her in the front rank of the women novelists of her day. A Life for a Life (1859), though inferior, maintained a high position, but she afterwards wrote little of importance except some very charming tales for children. Her most remarkable novels, after those mentioned above, were The Ogilivies (1849), Olive (1850), The Head of the Family (1851), Agatha's Husband (1853). There is much passion and power in these early works, and all that Mrs Craik wrote was characterized by high principle and deep feeling. Some of the short stories in Avillion and other Tales also exhibit a fine imagination. She published some poems distinguished by genuine lyrical spirit, narratives of tours in Ireland and Cornwall, and A Woman's Thoughts about Women. She married Mr G. L. Craik, a partner in the house of Macmillan & Company, in 1864, and died at Shortlands, near Bromley, Kent, on the 12th of October 1887.