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Sarah Doudney

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Subject: All the Year Round, Ellen Wood (author), List of women writers, Catherington, List of English writers, Girl's Own Paper
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Sarah Doudney

Sarah Doudney (an inscription signed by Doudney appears beneath the portrait engraving).

Sarah Doudney (15 January 1841, Portsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire – 8 December 1926, Oxford[1]) was an English novelist and poet, best known as a children's writer and hymnwriter.

Family and life

Doudney's father ran a candle and soap manufacturing business; one of her uncles was the evangelical clergyman David Alfred Doudney, editor of The Gospel Magazine and Old Jonathan.[1] Doudney was educated at a school for French girls, and started to write poetry and prose as a child. 'The Lesson of the Water-Mill', written when she was fifteen and published in the Anglican Churchman's Family Magazine (1864), became a well known song in Britain and the United States. Doudney continued to live with her parents near Catherington until she was thirty.

She published her first novel, Under Grey Walls, in 1871. Success came with her third novel, Archie's Old Desk, in 1872. In the 1881 census Doudney described herself as a "Writer for Monthly Journals".[2] She contributed poetry and fiction to periodicals including Dickens's All the Year Round, the Churchman's Shilling Magazine,[1] the Religious Tract Society's Girl's Own Paper, the Sunday Magazine, Good Words and the Quiver[2] By 1891, when she was describing herself in the census as a novelist, she had written around 35 novels,[2] aimed in most cases at girls, although she also wrote some adult novels. Doudney's hymns include The Christian's Good Night, set by Ira D. Sankey in 1884 and sung at Charles Spurgeon's funeral.[2]

Sarah's mother Lucy Doudney died in 1891 and her father followed in 1893. Sarah Doudney then moved to Oxford, where she died in December 1926.[3]


  • The Angels of Christmas, 1870
  • Harvest Hymn, 1870
  • Psalms of Life, 1871. A collection of 60 hymns.
  • Under Gray Walls, 1871
  • Faith Harrowby: Or the Smugglers' Cave, 1871
  • Archie's Old Desk, 1872
  • Self-pleasing. A New Year's Address to Senior Scholars, 1872
  • The Beautiful Island, and Other Stories (the other stories by other authors), 1872
  • Loser and Gainer, 1873
  • Janet Darney. A Tale of Fisher-life in Thale Bay, 1873
  • Wave upon Wave, 1873
  • Marion's Three Crowns, 1873
  • The Cottage in the Woods, and other tales, 1874
  • Miss Irving's Bible, 1875
  • Oliver's Oath, and How He Kept It, 1875
  • The Great Salterns, 1875
  • Nothing But Leaves, 1875
  • The Pilot's Daughters, 1875
  • Brave Seth, 1877
  • Stories of Girlhood, or the Brook and the River, 1877
  • Monksbury College: A Tale of Schoolgirl Life, 1878
  • Faith's Revenge, 1879
  • The Scarlet Satin Petticoat, 1879
  • While It Is Day. A New Year's Address to Senior Scholars, 1879
  • A Story of Crossport, and Other Stories, 1879
  • Old Anthony's Secret, and Other Stories, 1879
  • Stepping Stones, a Story of our Inner Life, 1880
  • Strangers Yet. A Story, 1880
  • A Child of the Precinct, 1880
  • Stepping-Stones: A Story of Our Inner Life, 1880
  • Anna Cavaye; or, the Ugly Princess, 1882
  • Michaelmas Daisy. A Young Girl's Story, 1882
  • What's in a Name?, 1883
  • Miss Stepney's Fortune, 1883
  • Nelly Channell, 1883
  • A Woman's Glory, 1883
  • The Strength of Her Youth, 1884
  • A Long Lane with a Turning, 1884
  • When We Two Parted. A Tale, c. 1884
  • Prudence Winterburn, 1885
  • Who Is the Enemy? and How He Was Discovered. A tale, 1886
  • When We Were Girls Together, 1886
  • The Missing Rubies, 1887
  • A Son of the Morning, 1887
  • Thy Heart's Desire. A Story of Girls' Lives, 1888
  • Miss Willowburn's Offer, 1888
  • The Vicar of Redcross; Or, Till Death Us Do Part, 1888
  • Under False Colours, 1889
  • Where the Dew Falls in London. A Story of a Sanctuary, 1889
  • Christmas Angels (in verse), 1890
  • The Family Difficulty: The Story of a Young Samaritan, 1891
  • Godiva Durleigh, 1891
  • Where Two Ways Meet, etc., 1891
  • Drifting Leaves (poems), 1892
  • My Message (poem), 1892
  • Voices in the Starlight (poem), 1892
  • The Love-Dream of Gatty Fenning. A Tale, 1892
  • Through Pain to Peace, 1892
  • A Romance Of Lincoln's Inn, 1893
  • Violets for Faithfulness (verse), 1893
  • Louie's Married Life, 1894
  • Katherine's Keys. A Tale, 1896
  • A Vanished Hand, 1896
  • Bitter and Sweet. A Story, 1896
  • Pilgrims of the Night, 1897
  • 'Where Swallows Build' at the Wayback Machine (archived 26 October 2009), Girl's Own Paper, XX, 1898
  • Lady Dye's Reparation, 1901
  • Silent Strings, 1904
  • One of the Few, 1904
  • A Cluster of Roses, 1906
  • Shadow and Shine, 1906
  • When My Ship Comes Home, 1906
  • Thistle-Down
  • My Wish for Thee (single poem)
  • The Lesson of the Water Mill (with Bond Andrews)[4]

See also

English women hymnwriters (18th to 19th-century)


  1. ^ a b c Charlotte Mitchell, ‘Doudney, Sarah (1841–1926)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2005, accessed 11 July 2008
  2. ^ a b c d Sarah Doudney (1841–1926) at the Wayback Machine (archived 26 October 2009)
  3. ^ Web Archive biography: Retrieved 6 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine (archived 26 October 2009).
  4. ^ Additional titles, corrections etc. from Doudney's ODNB entry; booksellers' catalogues; the British Library Integrated Catalogue: Retrieved 6 December 2011; Web Archive list: Retrieved 6 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine (archived 26 October 2009).

External links

  • Works by Sarah Doudney at the Wayback Machine (archived 26 October 2009)
  • Biography at the Cyber Hymnal
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