Dinah Maria Mulock Biography


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik was one of the many minor female novelists of nineteenth century England. Her father, Thomas Mulock, was something of ne’er-do-well. At the time of his daughter’s birth in 1826 he was operating in the capacity of a Nonconformist preacher at Stoke-on-Trent, but he soon left this calling for some nebulous business scheme, transferring the support of his family to his wife.{$S[A]Craik, Dinah Mulock;Mulock, Dinah Maria}

Mrs. Mulock, consequently, was forced to open a school in her home. She was assisted in this venture by her eldest daughter, Dinah, a precocious girl who had begun writing poetry at the age of ten. Mother and daughter continued to run the school until 1840, at which time Mrs. Mulock inherited a sizable fortune, and pedagogy was exchanged for travel. The entire family (Mr. Mulock had returned along with the inheritance) toured Europe for the next four years, and Dinah had the opportunity to study French, Italian, Greek, Latin, and even Erse (Gaelic).

In 1844 the unpredictable Thomas Mulock left home for good, and the remainder of the family settled in Staffordshire. The next year Mrs. Mulock died, leaving Dinah in charge of the younger children and the fortune.

Dinah, now nineteen, employed her talents in the writing of poems and stories for children. Four years later she turned to adult fiction with the production of The Ogilvies in 1849, a novel which she dedicated to her mother....

(The entire section is 437 words.)


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Altick, Richard D. The Presence of the Present: Topics of the Day in the Victorian Novel. Columbia: Ohio State University Press, 1991.

Colby, Robert A. “Miss Evans, Miss Mulock, and Hetty Sorrell.” English Language Notes 2 (1965).

Mitchell, Sally. Dinah Mulock Craik. Boston: Twayne, 1983.

Perkin, J. Russell. “Narrative Voice and the ‘Feminine’ Novelist: Dinah Mulock and George Eliot.” Victorian Review 18 (Summer, 1992).

Reade, A. L. “The Author of John Halifax, Gentleman.” Notes and Queries 196 (June 9, 1951).

Showalter, Elaine. “Dinah Mulock Craik and the Tactics of Sentiment: A Case Study In Victorian Female Authorship.” Feminist Studies 2 (1975).