Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Carey, Rosa Nouchette

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

CAREY, ROSA NOUCHETTE (1840–1909), novelist, eighth child and fourth daughter of William Henry Carey, shipbroker, by his wife Maria Jane, daughter of Edward J. Wooddill, was born at Stratford-le-Bow, London, on 24 Sept. 1840. Her childhood was spent at Hackney. She was educated first at home and later at the Ladies' Institute, St. John's Wood, where Mathilde Blind was a school-fellow. The friendship then formed was interrupted later by the divergence of their religious opinions. As a child she wrote little plays for her brothers and sisters to act, and invented stories for their amusement. Her first novel, 'Nellie's Memories,' told verbally in this way when in her teens, was published in 1868, and was immediately successful. Henceforward her career as a writer was assured. More than 52,000 copies of this book have been sold. Between 1868 and the year of her death Miss Carey published thirty-nine novels. The large sales, varying between 41,000 and 14,000 copies, testify to their popularity. Those which enjoyed the widest vogue were 'Wee Wifie' (1869); 'Wooed and Married' (1875); 'Not like other Girls' (1884); 'Uncle Max' (1887), and 'Only the Governess' (1888). Her last novel, 'The Sunny Side of the Hill,' appeared in 1908. Besides novels Miss Carey wrote short stories, many of which were issued by the Religious Tract Society, and a volume of brief biographies, 'Twelve Notable Good Women of the Nineteenth Century' (1899). Miss Carey held orthodox and conservative views of life, and like that of Charlotte Mary Yonge [q. v. Suppl. II] and Elizabeth Missing Sewell [q. v. Suppl. II] her fiction favoured high church principles. Her plots closely resemble one another, and her style lacks distinction. But her sentiment was well adapted to girls, who were her most numerous and appreciative readers. She mainly depicts women of a generation whose education and sphere of action were restricted by a convention which no longer prevails. Miss Carey led a retired life, but formed many close and enduring friendships. Her most intimate friends were Mrs. Henry Wood [q. v.], her son, Charles Wood, and Miss H. M. Burnside. She resided for about thirty-nine years at Hampstead, and then for aboiit twenty years at Putney, where she died on 19 July 1909, at Sandilands, Keswick Road. She was buried in the West Hampstead cemetery.

[The Times, 20 July 1909; Helen C. Black, Notable Women Authors of the Day, 1893; Pratt, People of the Period, 1897; private information.]

E. L.