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
- The Happiest Girl in the World
- A Preacher
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.
- "Home, Cecil." Blanche Lisle, and Other Poems. London: Macmillan, 1860.
- --. Lilian Gray, A Poem. London: Smith, 1864.
- --. Lesley's Guardians. London: Macmillan, 1864. [A novel.]
- Webster, Augusta.
- Augusta Webster: portraits and other poems. Ed. Christine Sutphin. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press, 2000. PR 5766 .W2A6 2000 Robarts Library
- --. The Auspicious Day. London: Macmillan, 1872. [A play.]
- --. A Book of Rhyme. London: Macmillan, 1881.
- --. Daffodil and the Croäxaxicans: A Romance of History. London: Macmillan, 1884. [Children's literature.]
- --. Disguises; A Drama. London: Kegan Paul, 1879. [A play.]
- --. Dramatic Studies. London: Macmillan, 1866.
- --. A Housewife's Opinions. London: Macmillan, 1879. [Essays from The Examiner.]
- --. In a Day: A Drama. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, 1882. [A play.]
- --. Mother and Daughter. An Uncompleted Sonnet-Sequence. Ed. William Michael Rossetti. London: Macmillan, 1895.
- --. Parliamentary Franchise for Women Ratepayers. London: John Bale for the Central Committee of the National Society for Women's Suffrage, 1878.
- --. Portraits. London: Macmillan, 1870. Enlarged edn. London: Macmillan, 1893.
- --. Selections from the Verse of Augusta Webster. London: Macmillan, 1893.
- --. The Sentence; A Drama. London: Unwin, 1887. [A play.]
- --. A Woman Sold and Other Poems. London: Macmillan, 1867. British Library 1647.dd.35
- --. Yu-Pe-Ya's Lute. A Chinese Tale in English Verse. London: Macmillan, 1874.
- --, trans. The Medea of Euripides. London, 1868.
- --. The Prometheus Bound of Aeschylus. Ed. Thomas Webster. London: Macmillan, 1866.
- Brown, Susan. "Economical Representations: Dante Gabriel Rossetti's 'Jenny,' Augusta Webster's 'A Castaway,' and the Campaign against the Contagious Diseases Acts." Victorian Review 17 (Summer 1991): 78-95.
Given name: Augusta
Family name: Webster
Maiden name: Davies
Birth date: 30 January 1837
Death date: 5 September 1894
Pseudonym: Cecil Home
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