Author Information At the Circulating Library

Author: Sarah Anne Jeffreys (1836–1888)

Alternate Name(s): Arnold (married name); Alton Clyde (pseudonym)

Biography: Sarah Ann Jeffreys was born in 1836 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, the daughter of a joiner. Sometime in the 1860s, Jeffreys moved to London and began writing novels under the pseudonym "Alton Clyde" for T. C. Newby. Much of her later religious fiction appeared in The Quiver, The Leisure Hour, and similar family periodicals. The death of her father led to her successful application to the Royal Literary Fund in 1866. In 1867, she married John Edwin Arnold, a one-time clerk for a railway and a self-described author of fiction (though no works of his have been identified). She had two children, a son (born 1872) and a daughter (born 1873), thereafter it appears her writing output slowed. The ill health of her husband and son led to another successful application to the Royal Literary Fund. In 1881, the couple separated and her husband bigamously married another woman under a false name in December, recording himself as a widower. The two families lived near each other in London. Throughout her life, she suffered from poor eyesight which interfered with her literary labors. Jeffreys died in 1888 of a lung ailment, and shortly afterwards her husband re-married his second wife under his own name. Her titles include: Tried and True (1863); Maggie Lynne (1866); Cross Currents (1868), a novel about Quakers; Under Foot (1870), a serial novel; Better Than Gold (1873); and His Only Enemy (1877), a serial novel. The latter two novels were published under her own name, Mrs. Arnold.

References: British Census (1881); pers inf (Daphne Wing); RLF (case number 1695)

Titles:

  1. Tried and True: A Tale.  1 vol.  London: T. C. Newby, 1863.
  2. Maggie Lynne: A Novel.  3 vol.  London: T. C. Newby, 1866.
  3. Cross Currents: A Novel.  3 vol.  London: T. C. Newby, 1868.
  4. Better Than Gold.  3 vol.  London: Sampson Low, 1873.