Harriet Parr

Harriet Parr (1828–1900) was a British author of the Victorian era, who wrote under the pseudonym Holme Lee.


The daughter of a commercial traveler, Parr was born in the English city of York on 31 January 1828.[1] She never married and worked initially as a governess before finding success as a writer with her first book, Maude Talbot, in 1854. From then until 1883, Parr produced approximately one novel a year, all published by the London firm Smith, Elder & Co., under the pen name Holme Lee. Charles Dickens, having enjoyed one of Parr’s early books, purchased three stories from her for the Christmas numbers of his weekly magazines.[2] One of these included a hymn that would later be republished in various Protestant hymnals in Britain and the United States.[3] Parr also wrote several volumes of fairy tales for children, plus some works of non-fiction, most of the latter under her real name.

She lived for many years at Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, where she died on 18 February 1900.[4]


Although Parr is now—like most Victorian authors—almost entirely forgotten, her work sold well during her lifetime and was generally well reviewed. Many of her books went through more than one edition, and several were also published in America. At least one was picked up by the Leipzig firm of Bernhard Tauchnitz, which specialized in inexpensive English-language paperbacks for travelers. Aiding Parr’s success was the fact that she was a favorite author of the founder of Victorian London’s largest lending library, Charles Edward Mudie, "to whose sense of decency her fiction strictly conformed with its depictions of shy maidens and their decent love problems."[5]


  • Maude Talbot, 3 vols. (1854)
  • Gilbert Massenger (1855)
  • Thorney Hall: a story of an old family (1855)
  • "The Poor Pensioner," Household Words (1855), extra Christmas number (uncredited)
  • Kathie Brande; a fireside history of a quiet life, 3 vols. (1856; reissued 1860, 1869; New York, 1857)
  • Poor Dick’s story in "Beguilement of the boats," Household Words (1856), extra Christmas number (uncredited)
  • Sylvan Holt’s daughter, 3 vols. (London, 1858, reissued 1865; New York, 1885)
  • Against wind and tide, 3 vols. (London, 1859, reissued 1862, 1869)
  • Hawksview: a family history of our own times (1859; New York, 1860)
  • Legends from fairy land: narrating the history of Prince Glee and Princess Trill (1860)
  • The Wortlebank diary, and some old stories from Kathie Brande’s portfolio, 3 vols. (1860)
  • "The club-night" (with Charles Dickens, Charles Alston Collins, Robert Buchanan, H. F. Chorley, and Amelia B. Edwards), All the year round (1860), extra Christmas number
  • Warp and woof; or, the reminiscences of Doris Fletcher, 3 vols. (1861)
  • The wonderful adventures of Tuflongbo and his elfin company, in their journey with little Content through the enchanted forest (1861)
  • Tuflongbo's journey in search of ogres (1862)
  • Annis Warleigh's fortunes, 3 vols. (1863)
  • In the silver age: essays—that is, dispersed meditations, 2 vols. (1864; reissued 1865, 1866, 1877)
  • The life and death of Jeanne d’Arc, called the Maid, 2 vols. (1866) (as Harriet Parr)
  • Mr. Wynyard’s ward, 2 vols. (1867)
  • Basil Godfrey’s caprice, 3 vols. (1868)
  • Holme Lee’s fairy tales (London & New York, 1868; reissued 1869)
  • For richer, for poorer, 3 vols. (1870)
  • Maurice and Eugénie de Guérin (1870) (as Harriet Parr)
  • The beautiful Miss Barrington, 3 vols. (1871)
  • Country stories, old and new, in prose and verse (1872)
  • Echoes of a famous year (1872) (as Harriet Parr)
  • Katherine’s trial (1873; Leipzig, 1873; New York, 1881)
  • The vicissitudes of Bessie Fairfax, 3 vols. (1874)
  • This work-a-day world, 3 vols. (1875)
  • Ben Milner’s wooing (1876)
  • Straightforward, 3 vols. (1878)
  • Mrs. Denys of Cote, 3 vols. (1879–80)
  • A poor squire, 2 vols. (1882)
  • Loving and serving, 3 vols. (1883)
  • Legends from Fairy Land: Narrating the History of Prince Glee and Princess Trill, the Cruel Persecutions & Condign Punishment of Aunt Spite, the Adventures of the Great Tuflongbo & the Story of the Blackcap in the Giant's Well, re-issued in 1907 with art nouveau illustrations by the brothers Horace and Reginald Knowles. This book has been given a reprint in 1988.


  1. ^  Polard, Albert Frederick (1901). "Parr, Harriet". Dictionary of National Biography (1st supplement). London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  2. ^ Lillian Nayder, Unequal partners: Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, and Victorian authorship (Ithaca, NY, 2002), xi, 28, 36, 133n.
  3. ^ John Julian, A dictionary of hymnology, 2d ed. (London, 1907), 882.
  4. ^  Polard, Albert Frederick (1901). "Parr, Harriet". Dictionary of National Biography (1st supplement). London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  5. ^ John Sutherland, The Stanford companion to Victorian fiction (Stanford, 1989), 491.

External links

A Message from the Sea

"A Message from the Sea" was a short story by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Robert Buchanan, Charles Allston Collins, Amelia Edwards, and Harriet Parr. It was written in 1860 for the Christmas issue of All the Year Round.

All the Year Round

All the Year Round was a Victorian periodical, being a British weekly literary magazine founded and owned by Charles Dickens, published between 1859 and 1895 throughout the United Kingdom. Edited by Dickens, it was the direct successor to his previous publication Household Words, abandoned due to differences with his former publisher.

It hosted the serialisation of many prominent novels, including Dickens' own A Tale of Two Cities. After Dickens's death in 1870, it was owned and edited by his eldest son Charles Dickens, Jr., with a quarter-share being owned by the editor and journalist William Henry Wills.

Charles Dickens bibliography

The bibliography of Charles Dickens (1812–70) includes more than a dozen major novels, a large number of short stories (including Christmas-themed stories and ghost stories), several plays, several non-fiction books, and individual essays and articles. Dickens's novels were serialized initially in weekly or monthly magazines, then reprinted in standard book formats.

Eugénie de Guérin

Eugénie de Guérin (29 January 1805 – 31 May 1848) was a French writer and the sister of the poet Maurice de Guérin.

Her Journals (1861, Eng. trans., 1865) and her Lettres (1864, Eng. trans., 1865) indicated the possession of gifts of as rare an order as those of her brother, though of a somewhat different kind. In her case mysticism assumed a form more strictly religious, and she continued to mourn her brother's loss of his early Catholic faith. Five years older than he, she cherished a love for him which was blended with a somewhat motherly anxiety. After his death she began the collection and publication of the scattered fragments of his writings. She died, however, before her task was completed.

See Sainte-Beuve, Causeries du lundi (vol. xii.) and Nouveaux Lundis (vol. iii.); G Merlet, Causeries sur les femmes et les hIres (Paris, 1865); Selden, L'Esprit des femmes de notre temps (Paris, 1864); Marelle, Eugénie et Maurice de Guérin (Berlin, 1869); Harriet Parr, M. and E. de Guérin, a monograph (London, 1870); and Matthew Arnold's essays on Maurice and Eugénie de Guérin, in his Essays in Criticism.

George Arney

Sir George Alfred Arney (1810 – 7 April 1883) was the second Chief Justice of New Zealand.

Household Words

Household Words was an English weekly magazine edited by Charles Dickens in the 1850s. It took its name from the line in Shakespeare's Henry V: "Familiar in his mouth as household words."

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight (; also referred to informally as The Island or abbreviated to IoW) is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines. The island is designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The island has been home to the poets Swinburne and Tennyson and to Queen Victoria, who built her much-loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes. It has a maritime and industrial tradition including boat-building, sail-making, the manufacture of flying boats, the hovercraft, and Britain's space rockets. The island hosts annual music festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, which in 1970 was the largest rock music event ever held. It has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe.

The isle was owned by a Norman family until 1293 and was earlier a kingdom in its own right. In common with the Crown dependencies, the British Crown was then represented on the island by the Governor of the Isle of Wight until 1995. The island has played an important part in the defence of the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, and been near the front-line of conflicts through the ages, including the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Britain. Rural for most of its history, its Victorian fashionability and the growing affordability of holidays led to significant urban development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Historically part of Hampshire, the island became a separate administrative county in 1890. It continued to share the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire until 1974, when it was made its own ceremonial county. Apart from a shared police force, there is now no administrative link with Hampshire, although a combined local authority with Portsmouth and Southampton was considered, this is now unlikely to proceed.The quickest public transport link to the mainland is the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea; three vehicle ferry and two catamaran services cross the Solent to Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth.

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