Mrs Henry Wood (1814–1887)

Date: 1875

Medium: Oil on canvas

Measurements: H 109.5 x W 89 cm

Artist: Joseph Sydney Willis Hodges

Work type: Painting

Acquisition method: unknown acquisition method

Born Ellen Price, daughter of Thomas Price, a local glove manufacturer, she married Henry Wood in 1836. She spent the next twenty years abroad where she began writing for various magazines such as “Bentley’s Miscellany” and Colbourne’s “New Monthly Magazine”.

Mrs. Wood was affected for most of her life by a curvature of the spine, and as a result, much of her writing had to be done on a reclining chair. She returned to live in this country and settled at Norwood. In 1860, she produced a novel “Danesbury House”, for the Scottish Temperance League. This was followed by “East Lynne”, serialized in the “New Monthly Magazine”, which attracted much critical acclaim.

This book was translated into many languages and served as the basis of a number of stage plays, which are still, occasionally performed. Mrs. Wood published some forty novels and numerous short stories (some of her ghost stories are still in print) until her death at St. John’s Ward on 10th February 1887.

Location: Guildhall Second Floor – Assembly Room