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At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: Robert Folkestone Williams

Author: Robert Folkestone Williams (1809–1870)

Alternate Name(s): Frank Ranelagh (pseudonym)

Biography: Robert Folkestone Williams was born in 1809 in London, the son of Edward Williams. He was an all-round man of letters who produced poetry, fiction, journalism, history, and biography as a result of more than "thirty years' severe literary labour, rarely less than ten hours a day, sometimes more." Williams wrote ten novels between 1835 and 1865, most of which treated historical subjects such as the life of Shakespeare, the English civil war, and the early eighteenth century. One novel, Sir Roger de Coverley (1846), appeared under the pseudonym "Frank Ranelagh." For a time, he was Professor of Ancient and Modern History at Cavalry College, Richmond. Williams also worked as the sub-editor and later editor of the New Monthly Magazine. Through this connection, he was called in to complete Theodore Hook's Fathers and Sons (1842) and Frederick Marryat's The Little Savage (1850). He married in 1839 Rosa Lucy du Ponte, the widow of William Francis Player, and the couple had three children (in addition to two children from Rosa's first marriage). Williams died in 1870.

Author Tags:

References: Allibone; British Census (1851, 1861)

Fiction Titles:

  1. Mephistopheles in England: or, The Confessions of a Prime Minister.  3 vol.  London: Longman, 1835.
  2. Eureka: A Prophecy of the Future.  3 vol.  London: Longman, 1837.
  3. Shakspeare and his Friends: or, "The Golden Age" of Merry England.  3 vol.  London: Henry Colburn, 1838.
  4. The Youth of Shakspeare.  3 vol.  London: Henry Colburn, 1839.
  5. The Secret Passion: A Novel.  3 vol.  London: Henry Colburn, 1844.
  6. Maids of Honour: A Tale of the Court of George I.  3 vol.  London: Henry Colburn, 1845.
  7. Sir Roger de Coverley: A Tale of the Court of Charles the Second.  3 vol.  London: Henry Colburn, 1846.
  8. Strawberry Hill: A Historical Novel.  3 vol.  London: Henry Colburn, 1847.
  9. The Luttrells: or, The Two Marriages.  3 vol.  London: Henry Colburn, 1850.
  10. Jack Scudamore's Daughter: A Domestic Story.  3 vol.  London: John Maxwell, 1865.