Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
Biography of Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
Born Dinah Maria Mulock at Longfield Cottage, Hartshill, Stoke-upon-Trent in 1826. Her father was a Nonconformist clergyman. She wrote poetry from an early age and helped her mother teach in a small school.
In 1831 the family went to live at Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire where she attended Brampton House Academy. On inheriting some property in 1839, they all moved to London. Dinah continued to study a range of modern and classical languages. Her other interests included drawing and music.
Her first work to be published was a poem on the birth of the Princess Royal which appeared in the Staffordshire Advertiser in 1841. She wrote some stories for children and in 1849 The Ogilvies appeared. This novel was dedicated to her mother who had died four years earlier. Her career began to take off and she began to move in London literary circles. The head of the family (1852) was dedicated to Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Her best known work is John Halifax, Gentleman (1857) which features Longfield, named after the cottage in which she was born, and its publication led to a new prosperity. It was printed in many editions in English and in several foreign translations. Her own favourite novel was A life for a life (1859). In 1865 she married George Lillie Craik who was a partner in the company of Macmillan, publishers. Mrs. Craik lived with her husband at Shortlands, Bromley, Kent for the rest of her life.
Dinah was respected for her very generous and compassionate nature and this strength of character can be seen in the rather moralistic tone of much of her poetry, fiction and essays. She felt that true nobility was not dependent upon material wealth and this theme is well developed in John Halifax, gentleman.
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Dinah Maria Mulock Craik Poems
Green Things Growing
O the green things growing, the green things growing, The faint sweet smell of the green things growing!
Only A Woman
"She loves with love that cannot tire: And if, ah, woe! she loves alone, Through passionate duty love flames higher, As grass grows taller round a stone."
LOUD wind, strong wind, sweeping o'er the mountains, Fresh wind, free wind, blowing from the sea,
My Christian Name
MY Christian name, my Christian name, I never hear it now: None have the right to utter it, 'T is lost, I scare know how.
HEAVEN rest thee! We shall go about today In our festal garlands gay;
A German Student’s Funeral Hymn
WITH steady march across the daisy meadow, And by the churchyard wall we go; But leave behind, beneath the linden shadow,
To My Godchild Alice
ALICE, Alice, little Alice, My new-christened baby Alice, Can there ever rhymes be found To express my wishes for thee
To A Beautiful Woman
SURELY, dame Nature made you in some dream Of old-world women--Chriemhild, or bright Aslauga, or Boadicea fierce and fair,
A Child’s Smile
A CHILD'S smile--nothing more; Quiet, and soft, and grave, and seldom seen;
A Ghost At The Dancing
A WIND-SWEPT tulip-bed--a colored cloud Of butterflies careering in the air-- A many-figured arras stirred to life,
THERE was a marriage-table where One sate, Haply, unnoticed, till they craved His aid: Thenceforward does it seem that He has made
DOST thou thus love me, O thou beautiful? So beautiful, that by thy side I seem Like a great ducky cloud beside a star:
Will Sail Tomorrow
THE good ship lies in the crowded dock, Fair as a statue, firm as a rock: Her tall masts piercing the still blue air,
A Dream Of Death
WHERE shall we sail to-day?'--Thus said, methought, A voice that only could be heard in dreams: And on we glided without mast or oar,
Only A Woman
"She loves with love that cannot tire:
And if, ah, woe! she loves alone,
Through passionate duty love flames higher,
As grass grows taller round a stone."
SO, the truth's out. I 'll grasp it like a snake, --
It will not slay me. My heart shall not break
Awhile, if only for the children's sake.
For his too, somewhat. Let him stand unblamed;