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Short poem

Selected Poetry of Augusta (Davies) Webster (1837-1894)

from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

Oh, I have drifted on before mad winds
and made ignoble shipwreck, not to-day
could any breeze of heaven prosper me
into the track again, nor any hand
snatch me out of the whirlpool I have reached
        (A Castaway)
  1. A Castaway
  2. Deserted
  3. The Happiest Girl in the World
  4. If?
  5. A Preacher
  6. Safe

Notes on Life and Works

Born at Poole, Dorset, on January 30, 1837, as Julia Augusta Davies, Augusta Webster spent her young years on the ship Griper, stationed at such places as Banff Castle and Penzance, and then in 1851, at Cambridge. Her education was informal but she studied at the Cambridge School of Art. Thomas Webster and Augusta, who had published a volume of poems in 1860 under a nom-de-plume, Cecil Home, wed in December 1863. A fellow at Trinity College Cambridge who eventually lectured at law there, Thomas moved with Augusta to London in 1870, where he practiced law. Under her married name, she published five volumes of verse in their first seven years of marriage that singled her out as an extraordinary voice in Victorian poetry: Dramatic Studies (1866), A Woman Sold (1867), Portraits(1870), and translations of Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound and Euripides' Medea. Her novels and plays, although successful in her time, are less read to-day. Child-rearing done, Augusta successfully ran in Chelsea for election in the London School Board in 1879 and again, after a term out-of-office when she had gone to Italy for her health, in 1885. She died on September 5, 1894, at 57, survived by her husband and a daughter.

Biographical information

Given name: Augusta
Family name: Webster
Maiden name: Davies
Birth date: 30 January 1837
Death date: 5 September 1894
Pseudonym: Cecil Home
Nationality: English
Family relations
          husband: Thomas Webster
Education: Cambridge School of Art
Literary period: Victorian
          London School Board
          Italy to 1885
          Poole, Dorset, England: 1837
          Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England: 1851 to 1870
          London, England: 1870 to 1894
First RPO edition: 2001