Manning, Anne (DNB01)

MANNING, ANNE (1807–1879), miscellaneous writer, eldest child of William Oke Manning (1778–1859), insurance broker of Lloyd's, London, and granddaughter of James Manning, Unitarian minister of Exeter, was born in London on 17 Feb. 1807. Her mother was Joan Whatmore, daughter of Frederick Gibson, principal surveyor of the London Docks, cousin, ward, and heir-at-law of Charles Lamb's 'most consistent living model of modern politeness,' Joseph Paice (Essays of Elia: 'Modern Gallantry '). William Oke Manning [q. v.] was her brother; James Manning, serjeant-at-law [q.v.], her uncle; Sir William Montague Manning (1811-1895), attorney-general, and judge of the supreme court of New South Wales, joint author of Neville and Manning's 'Reports in Court of Queen's Bench,' 3 vols., 1834, was her first cousin.

Anne was educated by her mother, an accomplished scholar. The associations of Old Chelsea, whither the family removed from Brunswick Square when she was eight, aroused her interest in history. She acquired a knowledge of several foreign languages, had a taste for science, and obtained a gold medal of the Royal Academy of Arts for a copy of Murillo's 'Flower Girl.' The Mannings moved into John Gait's house when he left Chelsea.

Her first book, 'A Sister's Gift: Conversations on Sacred Subjects,' London, 1826, 12mo, written for the brothers and sisters whom she taught, and published on her own account, realised a profit of 60l. The next, 'Stories from the History of Italy,' London, 1831, 8vo, was the only one published under her own name. 'Village Belles,' her first story (3 vols., 1838, 8vo; 2nd edit. 1859), was written at Norbury Priory, near Mickleham, which was the Mannings' home for seven years.

'The Maiden and Married Life of Mistress Mary Powell, afterwards Mistress Milton,' told in diary form, first appeared in 'Sharpe'a Magazine' in 1849, and brought Miss Manning considerable notice. She was known thenceforward as 'the author of Mary Powell.' The tale was reprinted 1849, 1855 (3rd edit,), 1866, 1874, and with a sequel, 'Deborah's Diary,' 1859 and 1860. Even more successful was 'The Household of Sir Thomas More,' which appeared in the same magazine, and was republished 1860, 1870, and 1887. Of both these stories (of which French and German translations also appeared), and of 'Cherry and Violet, a Tale of the Plague,' handsome editions, illustrated by Messrs. Jellicoe and Railton, and with introductions by the Rev. W. H. Hutton, were issued 1897, 1895, and 1896 respectively. An attack was made ('Fraser's Magazine,' vol. lii., July 1855, p. 104) upon them as 'spurious antiques,' and the public was seriously warned not to accept them as authentic diaries. They were of course intended as fiction. Both Archbishop Tait and Cardinal Manning spoke in high terms of their historical accuracy.

About 1850 Miss Manning settled at Reigate Hill, and remained there until near her death at her sisters' house at Tunbridge Wells on 14 Sept. 1879. She was buried with her parents in Mickleham churchyard, near Dorking.

A most prolific writer, Miss Manning was at her best in her historical tales of the sixteenth century. All her books evince extensive reading, and some of them perhaps a gentle pedantry. Her 'Family Pictures' and 'Passages in an Authoress's Life' contain interesting autobiographical reminiscences.

Other works by her, all published at London, are:

  1. 'Queen Philippa's Golden Rule,' 1851, 8vo.
  2. 'The Drawing-room Table Book,' 1852, 4to.
  3. 'The Colloquies of Edward Osborne, Citizen and Clothworker,' 1852, 1853, 1860; 4th ed. 1900, 8vo.
  4. 'The Provocations of Madame Palissy,' 1853; 3rd ed. 1880, 8vo.
  5. 'Cherry and Violet, a Tale of the Great Plague,' 1853, 8vo; 2nd ed. 1870.
  6. 'Jack and the Tanner of Wymondham,' 1854, 8vo.
  7. 'Chronicles of Merry England,' 1854, 8vo.
  8. 'Claude the Colporteur,' 1854, 8vo.
  9. 'The Hill Side: Illustrations of some of the simplest Terms used in Logic,' 1854, 8vo.
  10. 'Some Account of Mrs. Clarinda Singlehart,' 1885, 8vo.
  11. 'Stories from the History of the Caliph Haroun Al Raschid,' 1855, 8vo.
  12. . 'A Sabbath at Home,' 1855, 8vo.
  13. 'The Old Chelsea Bun House,' 1855, 8vo; 2nd ed. 1860, 8vo; 3rd ed. 1899, 8vo.
  14. 'The Week of Darkness: a short Manual for the Use and Comfort of Mourners,' 1856, 12mo.
  15. 'Tasso and Leonora: the Commentaries of Ser Pantaleone degli Gambacorti,' 1856, 8vo.
  16. 'The Good Old Times: a Tale of Auvergne,' 2nd ed. 1857, 8vo.
  17. 'Lives of Good Servants,' 1857, 8vo.
  18. 'Helen and Olga: a Russian Story,' 1857, 8vo.
  19. 'The Year Nine: a Tale of the Tyrol,' 1858, 8vo.
  20. 'The Ladies of Bever Hollow,' 1858, 8vo.
  21. . 'Poplar House Academy,' 1859, 8vo, 2 vols.
  22. 'Autobiography of Valentine Duval,' translated, 1860, 12mo.
  23. 'The Day of Small Things,' 1860, 8vo.
  24. 'Town and Forest,' 1860, 8vo.
  25. 'The Cottage History of England,' 1861, 12mo.
  26. 'Family Pictures,' 1861, 8vo.
  27. ' Chronicle of Ethelfled,' 1861, 8vo.
  28. A Noble Purpose Nobly Won' (Joan of Arc), 1862, 8vo; 2nd ed. 1862; 3rd ed. 1870, 8vo.
  29. 'Meadowleigh,' 1863, 8vo.
  30. 'The Duchess of Trajetto,' 1863, 8vo.
  31. 'An Interrupted Wedding,' 1864, 8vo.
  32. 'Belforest,' 1865, 8vo.
  33. 'Selvaggio: a Tale of Italian Country Life,' Edinburgh, 1865, 8vo.
  34. 'Miss Biddy Frobisher,' 1866, 8vo.
  35. 'The Lincolnshire Tragedy: Passages in the Life of the Faire Gospeller, Mistress Anne Askewe, recounted by Nicholas Moldwarp,' 1866, 8vo.
  36. 'The Masque at Ludlow and other Romanesques,' 1866, 8vo.
  37. 'Jacques Bonneval,' 1868, 16ino.
  38. 'The Spanish Barber,' 1869, 8vo.
  39. . 'One Trip More,' 1870, 8vo.
  40. 'Compton Friars,' 1872, 8vo.
  41. 'The Lady of Limited Income,' 1872, 8vo.
  42. 'Monk's Norton,' 1874, 8vo.
  43. 'Heroes of the Desert: the Story of the Lives of Moffat and Livingstone,' 1875, 8vo; 2nd ed. 1885, 8vo.
  44. ' An Idyll of the Alps,' 1876, 8vo.

From 1868 to 1876 Miss Manning contributed regularly articles, verse, and stories to Dr. Whittemore's magazine, 'Golden Hours,' in which the following serials by her, apparently never republished, appeared: 'Madame Prosni and Madame Bleay: a Story of the Siege of LaRochelle,' 1868; 'Rosita,' 1869; 'On the Grand Tour,' 1870; 'Octa via Solara,' 1871; 'Illusions Dispelled,' 1871.

[Passages in an Authoress's Life in Golden Hours, January to May 1872; Women Novelists of Queen Victoria's Reign, article by Charlotte Mary Yonge; Englishwoman's Review, February 1880, notes by Mrs. Batty; Notes and Queries, 8th ser. viii. 16; Athenæum, 30 Nov. 1878; private information.]

C. F. S.