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Rhoda Broughton (1840–1920)

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Rhoda Broughton was born in Denbigh in North Wales, the daughter of a clergyman. She received a classical education, quite unusual for a girl in her era. Following the deaths of both her parents, she lived with her married sisters. In 1867, her first novel was serialized in the Dublin University Magazine, edited by her maternal uncle Sheridan Le Fanu, and then appeared in book form as Not Wisely but Too Well. Le Fanu introduced her to the publisher Richard Bentley, who accepted her second novel, Cometh Up as a Flower. Their professional relationship lasted until the end of the Bentley publishing house in the 1890s, when it was taken over by Macmillan. By then she had published 14 novels and went on to produce some 10 more, plus short stories. Her frank portrayal of women and strong heroines caused some critics at the time to accuse her work of being slight and sensationalistic. However, she had many literary friends, including Henry James and Marie Belloc Lowndes, who wrote the introduction for her last novel, A Fool in Her Folly (1920), published posthumously. Literary scholars now consider her an important Victorian novelist.
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