Biography Augusta Davies Webster

Augusta Davies Webster

photo of Augusta Davies Webster
  • Time Period1837 - 1894
  • Place
  • CountryEngland

Poet Biography

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.