Author Information At the Circulating Library
Author: Frances E. M. Notley (1820–1912)
Alternate Name(s): Thomas (maiden name); Francis Derrick (pseudonym)
Biography: Frances Eliza Millett Notley was born in 1820 in Landager near Liskeard, Cornwall, the daughter of William Millett Thomas, a mining company promoter. She was educated in England and France. In 1843, she married George Notley of Combe, Syndenham, Somerset, and the couple had four daughters and one son. As a young mother, Notley turned to writing fiction beginning with Pique (1850) and Agatha Beaufort (1852). After her husband died in 1855 she experienced financial difficulties related to a chancery suit which diminished her inheritance. Thereafter under the pseudonym "Francis Derrick" she wrote indefatigably to support herself and children by writing serializations for The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, The Family Herald, and other magazines. In total, she penned nearly twenty novels (most serialized and reprinted in cheap editions) before retiring in the late 1880s. By 1881, she lived with her son the Rev. James T. B. Notley, the long-time rector of Diptford, Devon. Notley suffered poor health (including paralysis) in her later years and she successfully applied to the Royal Literary Fund in 1910. She died in 1912 at the age of 92.
References: Allibone; British Census (1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911); RLF (case #2833)