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People in History

Victorian magazines were filled with articles about historic figures. But then, so are books and magazines today - so we've tried to limit this section to articles that present "historic biography" with a distinctly Victorian slant.

For articles on historic royalty, please visit the Royalty section. For articles on noteworthy Victorians, please visit the People section. For articles on Americans, contemporary and historic, visit the Noteworthy Americans section.


Argyll, Earl of - The Escape of Archibald, Earl of Argyll (GOP 1892)
Rescued by his daughter-in-law from Edinburgh Castle in 1681.
Brandon, House of - A Romance in the Noble House of Brandon, by E. Walford (GOP 1891)
It's not quite clear where the "romance" comes into this account of a courtier of Henry VIII.
Buchan, Countess of - An Old Scottish Heroine, by Agnes Hannay (GOP 1891)
The Countess of Buchan (supporter of Robert the Bruce).
Clifford, Anne - A Right Noble Lady, by E. Walford (GOP 1891)
Lady Anne Clifford (1590-1675).
Douglas, Kate - Kate Douglas (GOP 1898)
The woman who attempted to bar a door with her arm to protect King James I from assassination.
Erskine, Lady - The Lady Erskine of Grange, by E. Walford (GOP 1892)
A lady exiled to the Isle of St. Kilda by her husband in the 18th century.
Handel's Mother - Handel's Mother (GOP 1888)
Hatton, Lady - A Gallery of Eccentric Women: Lady Hatton, by Nanette Mason (GOP 1888)
An ill-tempered lady of Elizabethan times, and her tempestuous marriages and legal battles.
Hudson, Jeffrey - Anecdotes of Courts, by E. Walford (GOP 1892)
Jeffrey Hudson, "the favourite dwarf of the English Court under Charles I and II."
Joan of Arc - Joan of Arc, by Lily Watson (GOP 1886)
Lambrun, Margaret - Margaret Lambrun (GOP 1880)
A supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots, who swore vengeance against Queen Elizabeth.
MacDonald, Flora - Flora MacDonald, by Lily Watson (GOP 1886)
The well-known supporter of "Bonnie Prince Charlie."
Marlborough, Duchess of - A Gallery of Eccentric Women: Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough by Nanette Mason (GOP 1888)
The duchess who said "Hold your tongue" to Queen Anne...
Napoleon, Mother of - The Mother of Napoleon the Great (GOP 1901)
Russell, Lady - See Wriothesley, Rachel
Shipton, Mother - Mother Shipton and Her Prophecies, by Isabella Rank (GOP 1881)
Wilcox, Betty - The True Story of Betty Wilcox and Her Clock, by J.A. Owen (GOP 1892)
A curious story of a British woman who sent stockings to the czar to obtain the release of her son.
Woodville, Elizabeth - One Day in the Life of a 15th Century Maiden (GOP 1902)
Reputed to be extracts from the diary of Elizabeth Woodville.
Wriothesley, Rachel (Lady Russell) - Rachel Wriothesley, Lady Russell, by Louey Eagleston (GOP 1881)
Winning essay by a 19-year-old about the widow of Lord Russell (executed by Charles II). Our writer concludes, "Surely it is better to be remembered as [wife and mother] than as one who has left the duties and retirements of home to be flattered and caressed by the world."

An Alphabet of Famous or Noteworthy Women, by Ximena (GOP 1894)
A puzzle poem, setting forth the exploits of famous ladies throughout history and asking "young readers" to guess their names. (The letter of the alphabet may refer to the first or last name, or, in at least one instance, a title!)
The Birthday Page: November, by Frederick Crowest (GOP 1902)
Brief biographies of notable women whose birthdays fall in the month of November, including Marie Antoinette, the Empress Frederick, Madame Albani, and Grace Darling.
Tales of Great Families, by Edward Walford (GOP 1890, 1891, 1892)
The First Laird of Queensberry; Bampfylde Moore Carew; Sir John Lion of Glamis; Black Agnes of Moray; The Romance of the Barony of Fairfax; The Romance of the Earldom of Perth; the Luck of Eden Hall; Elizabeth Willoughby; the Marriage of Lady Anne Carr; the O'Neills of Tyrone;


Elizabeth of Siberia, or, Prascovie Lopouloff (GOP 1886)
The story of a Russian girl who traveled from Siberia to St. Petersburg to intercede for her exiled parents.
Two Female Crusoes (GOP 1883)
The first is a woman from the Dogribbed Indian tribe, who survived for months on her own in the Arctic Circle, before being discovered by the explorer Hearne in 1771. The second is a woman found on an island off the coast of southern California; this woman's story is the basis for Scott O'Dell's book The Island of the Blue Dolphins.
The Adventures of Madame Godin, by Edward Whymper (GOP 1885)
A woman who traveled the Amazon.


Herschel, Caroline - Caroline Herschel: A True Tale of Sisterly Devotion, by A.M. Harley (GOP 1888)
A woman who achieved the rare honor of being elected an honorary member of the Astronomical Society.
More, Hannah - Some Memorials of Hannah More, by Rose Bourdillon (GOP 1896)
"Everyone has heard how this gifted woman, having moved conspicuously in the best and most intellectual London society during the middle of the last century, gave up her life henceforth to bettering the condition, physical and moral, of the people in the villages round about Wrington."
Falkland, Lady Lettice - A Noble Sister of Charity: Lettice, Lady Falkland (GOP 1890)


Addison, Joseph - Our Poets' Corner: Joseph Addison (1672) (GOP 1893)
Auvaiyar - "The Elderly Lady," Speaking from Ancient Orient, by Isabella Fyvie Mayo (GOP 1892)
The teachings of Auvaiyar of ancient India.
Chaucer, Geoffrey - Our Poets' Corner: Geoffrey CHAUCER (1328) (GOP 1893)
Cowper, William - Our Poets' Corner: William Cowper (1731) (GOP 1893)
de Stael, Madame - Madame DE STAEL, by Harriett Childe Pemberton (GOP 1881)
Literary lady and political figure in 18th-century Germany.
Edgeworth, Maria - Pen and Ink Sketch of Maria Edgeworth, by C.A. Macirone (GOP 1897)
"...the greatest minds of her time would reverence her influence as a writer, and claim for her the honour of giving to the world a literature - first for the youngest, and then for readers of mature age - fresh, pure, and bright, so simple in her child stories as to be dear to all the little ones who could enter into the sorrows of Lame Jervas and Simple Susan..."
Goldsmith, Oliver - Our Poets' Corner: Oliver Goldsmith (1728) (GOP 1893)
Herbert, George - George Herbert, by William Cowan (GOP 1893)
Christian poet, born 1593.
Johnson, Dr. Samuel - Dr. Johnson and the Ladies (GOP 1885)
Kant, Immanuel - Immanuel Kant, by Emma Brewer (GOP 1885)
Keats - Keats: The True Grecian, by Sarson C.J. Ingham (GOP 1897)
Milton: - Our Poets' Corner: Milton (1608) (GOP 1893)
Montgomery, James - Our Poets' Corner: James Montgomery (1771) (GOP 1893)
Newcastle, Duchess of - See Phillips, Catherine
Osborne, Dorothy - Dorothy Osborne, by Alice King (GOP 1891)
Dorothy Osborne, writer of letters (16271695).
Philips, Catherine; Newcastle, Duchess of - Two Dead Flowers, by Alice King (GOP 1880)
Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle, and Catharine Philips, poets during the period of the Restoration.
Scott, Sir Walter - Love-Lore from Abbotsford: Two Letters of Sir Walter Scott, Hitherto Unpublished (GOP 1897)
Southey - Our Poets' Corner: Southey (1774) (GOP 1893)
Spenser, Edmund - Our Poets' Corner: Edmund Spenser (1552) (GOP 1893)
Thomson, James - Our Poets' Corner: James Thomson (1700) (GOP 1893)
White, Henry Kirke - Our Poets' Corner: Henry Kirke White (1785) (GOP 1893)
Wordsworth: - Our Poets' Corner: Wordsworth (1770) (GOP 1893)


Famous Women Artists of the World, by W. Shaw Sparrow (GOP 1894)
Sobriquets of Artists, or, the Real Names of Italian Painters (GOP 1891)


Arne, Thomas - Thomas Arne, the English Amphion, by Eleonore D'Esterre-Keeling (GOP 1899)
Bach, Johann Sebastian - Johann Sebastian Bach, by Eleonore D'Esterre-Keeling (GOP 1898)
Beethoven - Beethoven, by J.F. Rowbotham (GOP 1894)
Beethoven - The Romanticism of Beethoven, by Eleonore D'Esterre-Keeling (GOP 1899)
Handel - Handel, by J.F. Rowbotham (GOP 1895)
Haydn, Joseph - "The Father of the Symphony": Joseph Haydn, by Eleonore D'Esterre-Keeling (GOP 1898)
Mendelssohn, Felix - Mendelssohn, by J.F. Rowbotham (GOP 1894)
Mozart - Mozart: His Life and Influence on the Development of Pianoforte Literature, by Edgar Mills (GOP 1895)
Purcell, Henry - Henry Purcell: The Pioneer of English Opera, by Eleonore D'Esterre-Keeling (GOP 1899)
Schubert, Franz - Franz Schubert, by Eleonore D'Esterre-Keeling (GOP 1898)

Royal Musicians, by Eleonore D'Esterre-Keeling (GOP 1900)
King David; Alfred the Great; Queen Elizabeth; Frederick the Great; Queen Hortense of Holland. (The article includes some of the musical arrangements of these royals.)
Some Celebrated Female Musicians, by J.F. Rowbotham (GOP 1892)
St. Cecelia, Sappho, Jenny Lind

Copyright © 2018 by
Moira Allen.
All rights reserved.

Magazine Abbreviations:
CFM = Cassell's Family Magazine GOP = Girl's Own Paper ILA = Illustrated London Almanack S = The Strand
AM = Atlantic Monthly C = Century Magazine D = Demorest's Monthly Magazine G = Godey's Lady's Book H = Harper's Monthly
Find out more about the magazines used on this site!
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