Author: Edith Johnstone

Author: Edith Johnstone (1866–1902)

Alternate Name(s): E. O'Byrne (pseudonym); Ruding (married name)

Biography: Edith Johnstone was born on 23 November 1866 in Belfast, the daughter of estate manager Charles Crockley Johnstone and Margaret McIver Johnstone. During her early years, the family moved to Stirling, Scotland. She and her sister attended extension courses at the University of Stirling. While working as a teacher in Edinburgh, Johnstone turned to fiction beginning withe Gladys (1889). In the early 1890s, she moved to London where she became the protétée of W. T. Stead. Her best-known novel A Sunless Heart appeared in 1895, received good reviews, and sold well. The same year, Johnstone married novelist Walter Ruding on 23 November. Tragically, within a few days, her husband fell ill and died on 12 December. Her later years remain a blank until her death on 1 May 1902 at Herne Bay, Kent.

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References: British Census (1891); Constance D. Harsh, ed., "Introduction," A Sunless Heart (Broadview, 2008)

Fiction Titles:

  1. Gladys: or, The Sister's Charge.  1 vol.  London: Blackie, 1889.
  2. Daphne: A Story of Self-Conquest.  1 vol.  London: Blackie, 1890.
  3. A Sunless Heart.  2 vol.  London: Ward, Lock, 1894.
  4. The Girleen.  1 vol.  London: Blackie, 1896.
  5. The Douce Family.  1 vol.  London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1896.

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