Author Information At the Circulating Library
Author: Julie Bosville Chetwynd (1828–1901)
Alternate Name(s): Davidson (maiden name); Hon. Mrs. Henry Chetwynd (familiar name)
Biography: Julia Bosville Chetwynd was born in 1828 at Tulloch Castle, in the highlands of Scotland, the daughter of Duncan Davidson and his first wife the Hon. Elizabeth Macdonald, herself daughter of Lord Macdonald of the Isles. She had an active outdoors childhood combined with a thorough education in Latin, mathematics, history, and geography insisted upon by her father. As a child, her family traveled widely, and she met a number of important figures, including George Eliot and William Makepeace Thackeray. In 1858, she married the Hon. Henry Weyland Chetwynd, the third son of Viscount Chetwynd. He served in the Royal Navy, including action in the Crimean War, first as a lieutenant then eventually captain and inspector of the coast guard. The couple had four sons and three daughters. While her husband was posted in the West Indies, Chetwynd "felt the solitude of the long evening to be so oppressive after the little ones were gone to bed, that for distraction she took to her pen and wrote her first novel," Three Hundred a Year (1866) which chronicles the struggles of a couple who marry without sufficient income. Over the next thirty years, she wrote an additional dozen novels that drew on her highlands childhood and travels. In 1888, she suffered a severe accident in Rugby Station that affected her health and mobility. Her husband died in 1893 and she followed in 1901. Besides writing, Chetwynd was an accomplished singer and musician who wrote songs and, in the 1890s, invented a fire escape.
References: Black; Times (29 November 1893; 18 October 1901)