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At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: Ann Rolfe

Author: Ann Rolfe (1789–1850)

Alternate Name(s): Button (maiden name); Plumb (first married name)

Biography: Ann Rolfe was born in 1789 in Suffolk or Surrey. Her early life has not been traced but her maiden name was Button. In 1810, she married schoolmaster Philip Plumb, a man nearly fifty years her senior. The couple lived in Bury St. Edmunds and had two sons (the youngest died in 1831 at age eighteen). Her husband died in 1817 and the following year she married Edward Rolfe. It was after this second marriage that Rolfe began her literary career by writing a novel Choice and No Choice (1825). She wrote another novel three years later and contributed poetry to The Ladies' Pocket Magazine in the 1830s (later collected in a published volume). In the Victorian period, she wrote the historical novel The Oath of Allegiance (1847). By the 1840s, she and her husband had moved to Richmond where they operated the Ham Street School. Rolfe died in 1850 at Selby House. In the words of her obituary, "she left a husband and son with numerous friends and pupils to lament her loss."

References: British Census (1841); Bury and Norwich Post (7 May 1817, 25 February 1818, 23 February 1831, 21 August 1850)

Fiction Titles:

  1. The Oath of Allegiance: A Tale of the Times of Philip the Second.  2 vol.  London: Saunders and Otley, 1847.