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At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: Fanny Emily Penny

Author: Fanny Emily Penny (1847–1939)

Alternate Name(s): Farr (maiden name)

Biography: Fanny Emily Penny was born in 1847 in Covchithe, the daughter of the Rev. John Farr and Emily Caroline Cobbold. Her great uncle was novelist Richard Cobbold. In 1877, she married the Rev. Frank Penny and the couple moved to Madras, India, where her husband was the chaplain for the Madras Ecclesiastical Establishment. They would have two children, a son and a daughter. While in India, Penny contributed articles on Indian life for the Madras Mail. In 1888, the couple moved to the Nilgiri Hills. It was there that Penny met novelist Bithia Mary Croker who encouraged Penny in writing fiction. A few years later, Penny's first novel Caste and Creed (1890) was published. In total, she wrote about thirty books, many of which included Indian characters and settings. Early in the twentieth century, the family moved to Ealing. Her husband wrote a history, The Church in Madras (1904). He died in 1928 and she died in 1939 in Ealing.

Author Tags:

References: British Census (1881); Times (27 December 1939)

Fiction Titles:

  1. Caste and Creed.  2 vol.  London: F. V. White, 1890.
  2. The Romance of a Nautch Girl: A Novel.  1 vol.  London: Swan Sonnenschein, 1898.
  3. A Forest Officer: Being Episodes in the Life of Jim Burns.  1 vol.  London: Methuen, 1900.