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Rosa Nouchette Carey
Rosa Nouchette Carey

(1840-09-27)27 September 1840
Stratford-le-Bow, England, United Kingdom
Died 9 July 1909(1909-07-09) (aged 68)
Putney, London, England, United Kingdom
Occupation novelist and children's writer

Rosa Nouchette Carey (27 September 1840 – 9 July 1909) was an English children's writer and popular novelist, whose works reflected the values of her time and were thought of as wholesome for girls. However, they are "not entirely bereft of grit and realism."


Born in Stratford-le-Bow, Rosa was the sixth of the seven children of William Henry Carey (died 1867), shipbroker, and his wife, Maria Jane (died 1870), daughter of Edward J. Wooddill. She was brought up in London at Tryons Road, Hackney, Middlesex and in South Hampstead. She was educated at home and at the Ladies' Institute, St John's Wood, where she was a contemporary and friend of the German-born poet Mathilde Blind (1841–1896). Her first novel, Nellie's Memories (1868), arose out of stories she had told to her younger sister.

As her writing career expanded after the death of her parents, so did her family responsibilities. When her mother died in 1870, she and an unmarried sister went to keep house for a widowed brother and look after his children. Later the sister married and the brother died, leaving Carey in sole charge of the children. Among her close friends was the prolific novelist Mrs Henry Wood. The poet Helen Marion Burnside came to live with her in about 1875, and Carey's sister returned to keep house for them after her husband died. Carey died of lung cancer at her home in Putney, London on 19 July 1909 and was buried in Hampstead Cemetery.


Nellie's Memories appears to have sold over 50,000 copies. Most of her 33 three-decker novels told pious, domestic stories, thought of as wholesome fiction for girls in the last third of the 19th century.

Published works

Carey was a prolific author; the list of her works on the British Library catalogue reflects a publishing rate of at least a book a year.

  • Nellie's Memories: A Domestic Story (London: Tinsley Bros., 1868)
  • Wee Wifie (London, 1869)
  • Wooed and Married (London: Tinsley Bros., 1875)
  • Heriot's Choice (London: R. Bentley & Son, 1879)
  • Queenie's Whim (London: R. Bentley & Son, 1881)
  • Not like Other Girls (London: R. Bentley & Son, 1884)
  • Robert Ord's Atonement (London: R. Bentley & Son, 1884)
  • For Lilias (London: R. Bentley & Son, 1885)
  • Uncle Max (London: R. Bentley & Son, 1887)
  • Esther (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1887)
  • Only the Governess (London: R. Bentley & Son, 1888)
  • Aunt Diana (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1888)
  • The Search for Basil Lyndhurst (London: R. Bentley & Son, 1889. Reissued as Basil Lyndhurst, 1895)
  • Merle's Crusade (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1889)
  • Lover or Friend? (London: R. Bentley & Son, 1890)
  • Our Bessie (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1891)
  • Averil (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1891)
  • Sir Godfrey's Grand-daughters (London: R. Bentley & Son, 1892)
  • But Men Must Work (London: R. Bentley & Son, 1892)
  • Mrs. Romney (London: R. Bentley & Son, 1894)
  • Little Miss Muffet (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1894)
  • Tiney's Birthday Gift (1894)
  • By Order of the Brotherhood (as Le Voleur. London: Jarrold, 1895)
  • The Mistress of Brae Farm (London: R. Bentley & Son, 1896)
  • Other People's Lives (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1897)
  • The Old, Old Story (London: R. Bentley & Son, 1897)
  • Doctor Luttrell's First Patient (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1897)
  • For the Love of a Bedouin Maid (as Le Voleur, London: Hutchinson & Co., 1897)
  • Mollie's Prince (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1898)
  • Barbara Heathcote's Trial (London, 1898)
  • Cousin Mona (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1897)
  • Twelve Notable Good Women of the XIX Century (Hutchinson, 1899)
  • Marquise (1899)
  • My Lady Frivol (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1899)
  • In the Tsar's Dominions (as Le Voleur, London, 1899)
  • Rue with a Difference (London: Macmillan & Co., 1900)
  • Life's Trivial Round (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1900)
  • The Clumpington Mystery (as Le Voleur, London, 1900)
  • Herb of Grace (London: Macmillan & Co., 1901)
  • The Highway of Fate (London: Macmillan & Co., 1902)
  • Mary St. John (London: Macmillan & Co., 1903)
  • Effie's Little Mother (London: R. Tuck & Sons, 1903)
  • At the Moorings (London: Macmillan & Co., 1904)
  • The Household of Peter (London: Macmillan & Co., 1905)
  • Esther Cameron's Story (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1906[?])
  • No Friend Like a Sister (London: Macmillan & Co., 1906)
  • The Angel of Forgiveness (London: Macmillan & Co., 1907)
  • The Sunny Side of the Hill (London: Macmillan & Co., 1908)
  • The Key of the Unknown (London: Macmillan & Co., 1909)
  • A Passage Perilous (London: Hodder & Stoughton, [n.d.])
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