William Harrison Ainsworth

William Harrison Ainsworth

William Harrison Ainsworth (4 February 1805 – 3 January 1882) was an English historical novelist. He was born in Manchester, the son of a solicitor. He went to the Manchester Grammar School before becoming trained in the law. However the legal profession had no attraction for him, and going to London to complete his studies he made the acquaintance of John Ebers, publisher, and at that time manager of the King's Theatre, Haymarket, by whom he was introduced to literary and dramatic circles, and whose daughter he afterwards married. For a short time he tried the publishing business, but soon gave it up and devoted himself to journalism and literature his first success as a writer of romance being scored with "Rookwood" in 1834, of which Dick Turpin is the leading character; and thenceforward he continued to pour forth till 1881 a stream of novels, to the number of 39. "Tower of London" was his fourth work, and, according to Ainsworth himself, it was written chiefly with the aim of interesting his fellow-countrymen in the historical associations of the Tower. Ainsworth died in Reigate on 3 January 1882.

Ainsworth depends for his effects on striking situations and powerful descriptions: he has little humour or power of delineating character.

Early life

Ainsworth was born at 21 King Street, Manchester on 4 February 1805, the elder of two sons of Thomas Ainsworth (1778–1824), a solicitor, and his wife, Ann (1778–1842). He was taught privately until the age of twelve, after which he attended the Manchester Free Grammar School from 1817 to 1822. While still at school, in 1821 he produced his first known published work, "The Rivals: a Serio-Comic Tragedy", under the pseudonym of T. Hall.citation |first=Sheldon |last=Goldfarb |title=Ainsworth, William Harrison (1805–1882) |series=Oxford Dictionary of National Biography |url=http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/243 |publisher=Oxford University Press |date=2004 |accessdate=22 July 2008]


* (1834)
* "The Admirable Crichton" (1837)
* (1839)
* "The Tower of London" (1840)
* "Guy Fawkes" (1841)
* (1841)
* "The Miser's Daughter" (1842)
* (1843)
* "Saint James's" (1844)
* "Auriol" (1844)
* "James the Second" (1848)
* (1849)
* "The Flitch of Bacon" (1854)
*; gutenberg|no=12397|name=The Star Chamber, vol. 2 (1854)
* "The Spendthrift" (1857)
* "The Life and Adventures of Mervyn Clitheroe" (1858)
* "The Combat of the Thirty" (1859)
* "Ovingdean Grange: a tale of the South Downs" (1860)
* "The Constable of the Tower" (1861)
* "The Lord Mayor of London" (1862)
* "Cardinal Pole" (1863)
* "John Law" (1864)
* "The Spanish Match" (1865)
* "The Constable de Bourbon" (1866)
* "Old Court" (1867)
* "Myddleton Pomfret" (1868)
* "Hilary St. Ives" (1870)
* "Tower Hill" (1871)
* "The South-Sea Bubble" (1871)
* "Talbot Harland" (1871)
* "Boscobel" (1872)
* "The Good Old Times" (1873)
* "Merry England" (1874)
* "The Goldsmith's Wife" (1875)
* "Preston Fight or The Insurrection of 1715" (1875)
* "The Leaguer of Lathom, A Tale of the Civil War in Lancashire" (1876)
* "Chetwynd Calverley, A Tale" (1876)
* "The Fall of Somerset" (1877)
* "Beatrice Tyldesley" (1878)
* "Beau Nash" (1879)
* "Stanley Brereton" (1881)




*citation |last=Bleiler |first=Everett |authorlink=Everett F. Bleiler |title=The Checklist of Fantastic Literature | location=Chicago |publisher=Shasta Publishers |date=1948
*citation |last=Carver |first=Stephen |title=The Life and Works of the Lancashire Novelist William Harrison Ainsworth 1805–1882 |location=New York |publisher=Edwin Mellen Press |isbn=0-7734-6633-9 |date=2003

External links

*gutenberg author|id=William_Harrison_Ainsworth|name=William Harrison Ainsworth
* [http://gutenberg.net.au/plusfifty-a-m.html#ainsworth Works by William Harrison Ainsworth] at [http://gutenberg.net.au Project Gutenberg Australia]
* [http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=54 Biography of Ainsworth at the Literary Encyclopedia]
*A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature
* [http://www.litgothic.com/Texts/auriol1.html Text of Auriol, also known as The Elixir Of Life]
* [http://www.lang.nagoya-u.ac.jp/~matsuoka/Ainsworth.html List of web links and list of works by Ainsworth]

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