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At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: Ella Jane Curtis

Author: Ella Jane Curtis (1840–1910)

Alternate Name(s): Shirley Smith (pseudonym)

Biography: Ella Jane Curtis was born in 1840 in Belmont Rockingham, Ireland. Nothing is known of her antecedents. In 1874, her father died and she came to London to work in order to support herself and her mother. By 1881, she was working as a struggling journalist and novelist in London, living as a boarder in a home for ladies of limited means. Curtis applied twice to the Royal Literary Fund: unsuccessfully in 1877 and successfully in 1881. Under the pseudonym "Shirley Smith," she wrote a half-a-dozen novels for Hurst and Blackett, dedicating her first All for Herself (1877) to George John Whyte-Melville. Curtis never married and died in 1910 in Dorset.

Author Tags:

References: British Census (1881, 1901); RLF (case number 2030); Times (9 August 1910)

Fiction Titles:

  1. All for Herself.  3 vol.  London: Hurst and Blackett, 1877.
  2. His Last Stake.  3 vol.  London: Hurst and Blackett, 1878.
  3. St. Martin's Summer.  3 vol.  London: Hurst and Blackett, 1880.
  4. Redeemed.  3 vol.  London: Hurst and Blackett, 1882.
  5. The Favourite of Fortune.  3 vol.  London: Hurst and Blackett, 1886.
  6. A Game of Chance: A Novel.  3 vol.  London: Hurst and Blackett, 1889.