Marsh-Caldwell, Anne (DNB00)

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MARSH-CALDWELL, Mrs. ANNE (1791–1874), novelist, born in 1791, was the third daughter and fourth child of James Caldwell, J.P., of Linley Wood, Staffordshire, recorder of Newcastle-under-Lyme, and deputy-lieutenant of the county. Her mother was Elizabeth, daughter and coheiress of Thomas Stamford of Derby. In July 1817 Miss Caldwell married Arthur Cuthbert Marsh, latterly of Eastbury Lodge, Hertfordshire. Her husband was son of William Marsh, senior and sleeping partner in the London banking firm of Marsh, Stacey, & Graham, which was ruined by the gross misconduct in 1824 of Henry Fauntleroy [q. v.], a junior partner. There were seven children of the marriage. Mrs. Marsh wrote for her amusement from an early age, and at the suggestion of her friend, Miss Harriet Martineau, published her first novel, ‘Two Old Men's Tales,’ in 1834. Her husband died 23 Dec. 1849. On the death of her brother, James Stamford Caldwell, in 1858, Mrs. Marsh succeeded to the estate of Linley Wood, and resumed by royal license the surname of Caldwell in addition to that of Marsh. She died at Linley Wood, 5 Oct. 1874.

Mrs. Marsh was one of the most popular novelists of her time, and maintained that position for nearly a quarter of a century. Her novels were published anonymously, and are therefore difficult to identify. They are didactic in character, but possess some dramatic power (Blackwood, May 1855). They chiefly describe the upper middle class and the lesser aristocracy. ‘Mount Sorel,’ 1845, and ‘Emilia Wyndham,’ 1846, are perhaps her best works. Many of her novels passed through several editions, and a collection of them, filling fifteen volumes, was published in Hodgson's ‘Parlour Library,’ 1857. She wrote also two historical works, ‘The Protestant Reformation in France and the Huguenots,’ 1847, and a translation of the ‘Song of Roland, as chanted before the Battle of Hastings by the minstrel Taillefer,’ 1854.

The titles of Mrs. Marsh's other works are:

  1. 'Tales of the Woods and Fields,' 1838.
  2. 'Triumphs of Time,'1844.
  3. 'Aubrey,' 1845.
  4. 'Father Darcy, an Historical Romance,' 1846.
  5. 'Norman's Bridge, or the Modern Midas,' 1847.
  6. 'Angela, or the Captain's Daughter,' 1848.
  7. 'The Previsions of Lady Evelyn.'
  8. 'Mordaunt Hall,' 1849.
  9. 'The Wilmingtons,' 1849.
  10. 'Lettice Arnold,' 1850.
  11. 'Time the Avenger,' 1851.
  12. 'Ravenscliffe,' 1851.
  13. 'Castle Avon,' 1852.
  14. 'The Heiress of Haughton,' 1856.
  15. 'Evelyn Marston,' 1856.
  16. 'The Rose of Ashurst,' 1867.

Mrs. Marsh-Caldwell has been wrongly credited with Mrs. Stretton's 'Margaret and her Bridesmaids,' and other books published by the author of that work.

[Allibone's Dict. ii. 1224-6; Ann. Reg. 1874, 171; Burke's Landed Gentry. iv. 597-8; Athenæum, 1874. ii. 512-13; information from Mrs. Marsh-Caldwald's daughter.]

E. L.