At the Circulating Library Author Information: Francesca Maria Steele
Author: Francesca Maria Steele (1849–1931)
Alternate Name(s): Darley Dale (pseudonym)
Biography: Francesca Maria Steele was born in 1849, the daughter of R.P. Steele, the secretary of the Royal Exchange Assurance Company. She was educated at Bedford College, London. In 1874, her family moved to Jersey and, after her father died, they moved to Gloucestershire. While in Jersey, Steele began to write, beginning with the children's book The Jersey Boys (1878). She continued to write books for children and adults under the pseudonym "Darley Dale." In 1887, Steele and her sister converted to Roman Catholicism (her sister would become the Mother General of Tyburn Convent, London). As a result of her conversion, she wrote religious-themed historical works under her own name, such as The Convents of Great Britain and Ireland and lives of St. Hildegarde and St. Walburga. In her later years, she was an invalid and lived with her younger sister at Stroud. Steele died in 1931.
References: Times (21 August 1931)
- Fair Katherine. 3 vol. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1886.
- The Village Blacksmith. 3 vol. London: Hutchinson, 1892.
- Lottie's Wooing. 3 vol. London: Hutchinson, 1893.
- The Game of Life. 3 vol. London: Hutchinson, 1894.