Webster, Augusta (Davies) (1837 - 1894)

Biography: 

Born at Poole, Dorset, on January 30, 1837, as Julia Augusta Davies, Augusta Webster spent her young years on the ship Griper, stationed at such places as Banff Castle and Penzance, and then in 1851, at Cambridge. Her education was informal but she studied at the Cambridge School of Art. Thomas Webster and Augusta, who had published a volume of poems in 1860 under a nom-de-plume, Cecil Home, wed in December 1863. A fellow at Trinity College Cambridge who eventually lectured at law there, Thomas moved with Augusta to London in 1870, where he practiced law. Under her married name, she published five volumes of verse in their first seven years of marriage that singled her out as an extraordinary voice in Victorian poetry: Dramatic Studies (1866), A Woman Sold (1867), Portraits(1870), and translations of Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound and Euripides' Medea. Her novels and plays, although successful in her time, are less read to-day. Child-rearing done, Augusta successfully ran in Chelsea for election in the London School Board in 1879 and again, after a term out-of-office when she had gone to Italy for her health, in 1885. She died on September 5, 1894, at 57, survived by her husband and a daughter.

  • Bianchi, Petra. "Webster, (Julia) Augusta (1837–1894)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. May 2009.
  • Brown, Susan. "Economical Representations: Dante Gabriel Rossetti's 'Jenny,' Augusta Webster's 'A Castaway,' and the Campaign against the Contagious Diseases Acts." Victorian Review 17 (Summer 1991): 78-95.
  • "Home, Cecil." Blanche Lisle, and Other Poems. London: Macmillan, 1860.
  • --. Lilian Gray, A Poem. London: Smith, 1864.
  • --. Lesley's Guardians. London: Macmillan, 1864. [A novel.]
  • Webster, Augusta.
  • Augusta Webster: portraits and other poems. Ed. Christine Sutphin. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press, 2000. PR 5766 .W2A6 2000 Robarts Library
  • --. The Auspicious Day. London: Macmillan, 1872. [A play.]
  • --. A Book of Rhyme. London: Macmillan, 1881.
  • --. Daffodil and the Croäxaxicans: A Romance of History. London: Macmillan, 1884. [Children's literature.]
  • --. Disguises; A Drama. London: Kegan Paul, 1879. [A play.]
  • --. Dramatic Studies. London: Macmillan, 1866.
  • --. A Housewife's Opinions. London: Macmillan, 1879. [Essays from The Examiner.]
  • --. In a Day: A Drama. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, 1882. [A play.]
  • --. Mother and Daughter. An Uncompleted Sonnet-Sequence. Ed. William Michael Rossetti. London: Macmillan, 1895.
  • --. Parliamentary Franchise for Women Ratepayers. London: John Bale for the Central Committee of the National Society for Women's Suffrage, 1878.
  • --. Portraits. London: Macmillan, 1870. Enlarged edn. London: Macmillan, 1893.
  • --. Selections from the Verse of Augusta Webster. London: Macmillan, 1893.
  • --. The Sentence; A Drama. London: Unwin, 1887. [A play.]
  • --. A Woman Sold and Other Poems. London: Macmillan, 1867. British Library 1647.dd.35
  • --. Yu-Pe-Ya's Lute. A Chinese Tale in English Verse. London: Macmillan, 1874.
  • --, trans. The Medea of Euripides. London, 1868.
  • --. The Prometheus Bound of Aeschylus. Ed. Thomas Webster. London: Macmillan, 1866.
Given Name: 
Augusta
Family Name: 
Webster
Née: 
Davies
Pseudonym(s): 
Home, Cecil
Birth Date: 
January 30, 1837
Death Date: 
September 5, 1894
Nationality: 
Family Relations: 
husband : Thomas Webster
Literary Period: 
Literary Movement: 

Illness

First RPO Edition: 
2001