Ellen Buckingham Mathews

English novelist

1853   -   1920

country of citizenship: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
occupation: writer, novelist

Ebooks: on Wikisource

Ellen Buckingham Mathews (1853–1920) was a popular female English novelist during the late 19th and early 20th century. She was also known as Mrs Reeves after her marriage in 1877 to Dr. Henry Albert Reeves (1841–1914) but was best known under her pen name, Helen Mathers. She was born in Misterton, Somerset. Her first novel, "Comin' thro' the Rye" was published in 1875. It was partly based on people in her life and on her own early romantic experiences. She also acknowledged Rhoda Broughton as an early influence. She continued to write until her death. She was educated at a boarding school in Chantry near Frome in Somerset. In her first novel, "Comin' thro' the Rye" she describes some of her experiences at school. "Mr Russell" in the novel was Rev Fussell in real life, who was the Lord of the manor and founder of the school. In the novel she calls the village Charteris. From 1875 to 1895 the novel sold over 35,000 copies.Due to a confusion of titles, some sources attribute a number of books by Scottish novelist Anne S. Swan to Mathers. Mathers published a short novel entitled "The Land o' the Leal, by the Author of Comin' Thro' the Rye" in 1878. Swan published "The Land o' the Leal" (same title, completely different book) using her male pseudonym David Lyall, in 1896. Conflating the two different novels with the same title has led some people to assume (erroneously) that David Lyall is Mathers's pseudonym. It is not.
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