Dinah Craik

Dinah Craik
An 1887 portrait of Dinah Craik by Hubert von Herkomer

Dinah Maria Craik (born Dinah Maria Mulock, also often credited as Miss Mulock or Mrs. Craik) (20 April 1826 - 12 October 1887) was an English novelist and poet. She was born at Stoke-on-Trent and brought up in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.

After the death of her mother in 1845, Dinah Maria Mulock settled in London about 1846. She was determined to obtain a livelihood by her pen, and, beginning with fiction for children, advanced steadily until placed in the front rank of the women novelists of her day. She is best known for the novel John Halifax, Gentleman (1856). She followed this with A Life for a Life (1859), which she considered to be the best of her novels; others were The Ogilvies (1849), Olive (1850), The Head of the Family (1851), Agatha's Husband (1853), Hannah (1871), and Young Mrs. Jardine (1879). ("John Halifax" is based loosely around the life of John Dobell, a wine merchant from Cheltenham.)

Other works include Avillion and other Tales (1853), Christian's Mistake (1865), A Noble Life (1866), and The Little Lame Prince and his Travelling Cloak (1875). She published some poetry, narratives of tours in Ireland and Cornwall, and A Woman's Thoughts about Women (1858). (An Unsentimental Journey Through Cornwall appeared in 1884.)[1]

She married George Lillie Craik, a partner with Alexander Macmillan in the publishing house of Macmillan & Company, in 1864. They adopted a foundling baby girl, Dorothy, in 1869.

At Shortlands, near Bromley, Kent, while in a period of preparation for Dorothy's wedding, she died of heart failure on 12 October 1887, aged 61. Her last words were reported to have been: "Oh, if I could live four weeks longer! but no matter, no matter!" Her final book, An Unknown Country, was published by Macmillan in 1887, the year of her death.


  1. ^ Craik, Dinah Maria (1884) An Unsentimental Journey Through Cornwall. [New ed.] Newmill, Penzance: Patten Press for the Jamieson Library, 1988. ISBN 0950768960

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