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A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: W. H. M. Holmes

Author: W. H. M. Holmes (1810–1871)

Alternate Name(s): William Henry Muloch Holmes (legal name); Morlock (alternate name); Morleigh (pseudonym)

Biography: William Henry Muloch Holmes (alternately spelled "Mulock") was born on 14 July 1810 in Ireland, the son of flour mill owner William Mulock of Ballinagore, County Westmeath and his wife Alicia (née Holmes). His younger brother was the army officer Thomas Edmonds Mulock (1821–1893). When his father died in 1827, Holmes inherited the mills and promptly sold them when he reached his majority. He used the money to travel to America, an experience which colors both of his novels, Life in the West (1842) and Oakleigh (1843), written when he returned to Europe. At some point, he adopted "Holmes" as his surname, the maiden name of his mother. In 1852, he became one of Queen Victoria's Gentlemen-at-Arms as well as a captain in the Royal London Militia. His later years see him living in Brighton (1861) and Portobello (1871). Shortly before his death, he married Jessie Cobban (some thirty years his junior), the daughter of physician George Cobban of Banffshire. Holmes died on 17 September 1871 in Scotland.

Author Tags:

References: Army and Navy Gazette (30 September 1871); E. T. Bewley, The Family of Mulock (1905); Boase (Thomas Edmonds Mulock); Burke; Loeber

Fiction Titles:

  1. Life in the West: Back-Wood Leaves and Prairie Flowers: Rough Sketches on the Borders of the Picturesque, the Sublime, and Ridiculous. Extracts from the Note Book of Morleigh in Search of an Estate.  1 vol.  London: Saunders and Otley, 1842.
  2. Oakleigh: or, The Minor of Great Expectations.  3 vol.  London: T. C. Newby, 1843.