Small image of a man handing a book to a women across a counter.

At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: 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)

Fiction Titles:

  1. The Jersey Boys.  1 vol.  London: R. T. S., 1878.
  2. Helen Leslie: or, "A Little Leaven".  1 vol.  London: Frederick Warne, 1879.
  3. A Tearful Victory: A Story for Children.  1 vol.  London: S. P. C. K., 1880.
  4. The Black Donkey: or, The Guernsey Boys.  1 vol.  London: S. P. C. K., 1881.
  5. Little Bricks.  1 vol.  London: James Nisbet, 1882.
  6. The Family Failiing.  1 vol.  London: Blackie, 1883.
  7. Cissy's Troubles.  1 vol.  London: James Nisbet, 1883.
  8. Spoilt Guy: The Story of a Child.  1 vol.  London: James Nisbet, 1883.
  9. Seven Sons: or, The Story of Malcolm and his Brothers.  1 vol.  London: James Nisbet, 1884.
  10. Fair Katherine.  3 vol.  London: Hurst and Blackett, 1886.
  11. Oughts and Crosses: or, Mr. Holland's Conquest.  1 vol.  London: James Nisbet, 1886.
  12. Swallow-Tails and Skippers.  1 vol.  London: R. T. S., 1886.
  13. The Great Auk's Eggs.  1 vol.  London: R. T. S., 1886.
  14. The Glory of the Sea.  1 vol.  London: R. T. S., 1887.
  15. The Shepherd's Fairy: A Pastorale.  1 vol.  London: R. T. S., 1888.
  16. Mr. Mygale's Hobby: A Story about Spiders.  1 vol.  London: R. T. S., 1889.
  17. Noah's Ark: A Tale of the Norfolk Broads.  1 vol.  London: Frederick Warne, 1890.
  18. The Village Blacksmith.  3 vol.  London: Hutchinson, 1892.
  19. The Little Doctor: or, The Magic of Nature.  1 vol.  London: Wells, Gardner, Darton, 1892.
  20. Lottie's Wooing.  3 vol.  London: Hutchinson, 1893.
  21. The Game of Life: A Novel.  3 vol.  London: Hutchinson, 1894.
  22. Chloe.  1 vol.  London: Bliss, Sands, and Foster, 1897.
  23. Stella's Story: A Venetian Tale.  1 vol.  London: Virtue, 1897.
  24. The House that Jack Built.  1 vol.  London: R. A. Everett and Co., 1903.