Charles, Elizabeth (1828–1896)

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Charles, Elizabeth (1828–1896)

English author. Born at Tavistock on January 2, 1828; died at Hampstead on March 28, 1896; daughter of John Rundle (a Member of Parliament); married Andrew Paton Charles, in 1851.

Over the course of her career, Elizabeth Charles wrote some 50 books, primarily of a semi-religious nature. Some of her early poems won praise from Alfred Lord Tennyson, who read them in manuscript. Charles' best known book, titled The Chronicles of the Schönberg-Cotta Family, was written to order for an editor who was looking for a story about Martin Luther. Published in 1862, this work was translated into most of the European languages, Arabic, and many Indian dialects. In addition to writing, Charles took an active role in the operation of various charitable institutions. Arthur Stanley, dean of Westminster, Archibald Tait, archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Kingsley, a writer and cleric, and Edward Pusey, an Anglican theologian, were among her friends and correspondents. She died at Hampstead on March 28, 1896.