Pickering, Ellen (DNB00)

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PICKERING, ELLEN (d. 1843), novelist, lived in early life at Bath. Her family owned property in the West Indies, but losses compelled their retirement for some years to Hampshire, and Ellen commenced novel-writing about 1825 with a view to a livelihood. She wrote rapidly, acquired some popularity, and earned, it is said, 100l. a year. The most successful of her books was ‘Nan Darrell,’ published in 1839. The heroine is a crazy gipsy, said to be drawn from life. Other editions appeared in 1846, 1853, 1862, and 1865. Miss Pickering died at Bath, on 25 Nov. 1843, of scarlet fever (Annual Register, 1843, p. 315; Gent. Mag. 1844, ii. 216). She did not live to finish her last novel, ‘The Grandfather;’ it was completed by Elizabeth Youatt, and published in 1844. In the year of her death Miss Pickering published ‘Charades for Acting’ and ‘Proverbs for Acting.’

Her other novels are: 1. ‘The Marriage of the Favourite,’ 1826. 2. ‘The Heiress,’ 1833. 3. ‘Agnes Serle,’ 1835. 4. ‘The Merchant's Daughter,’ 1836. 5. ‘The Squire,’ 1837, 1860. 6. ‘The Fright,’ 1839. 7. ‘The Prince (Rupert) and Pedlar, or the Siege of Bristol,’ 1839. 8. ‘The Quiet Husband,’ 1840. 9. ‘Who shall be Heir?’ 1840. 10. ‘The Secret Foe: an historical Novel,’ 1841. 11. ‘The Expectant,’ 1842. 12. ‘Sir Michael Paulet,’ 1842. 13. ‘Friend or Foe,’ 1843. 14. ‘The Grumbler,’ 1843. 15. ‘Kate Walsingham,’ 1848, all in 3 vols. Most of her novels were published separately in the United States.

[Allibone's Dict. of English Lit. ii. 1589; Hale's Woman's Record, p. 884; private information.]

E. L.