(30 January 1837 - 5 September 1894) born in Poole
as Julia Augusta Davies, was an English poet
, dramatist, essayist, and translator
. The daughter of Vice-admiral
George Davies and Julia Hume she spent her younger years on board the ship he was stationed, the Griper.
After an informal education, she studied at the Cambridge School of Art. She published her first volume of poetry in 1860 under the pen name Cecil Homes. In 1863 she married Thomas Webster, a fellow at Trinity College Cambridge. Much of Webster's writing explored the condition of women, and she was a strong advocate of women's right to vote, working for the London branch of the National Committee for Women's Suffrage
.Webster was the first female writer to hold elective office, having been elected to the London School Board in 1879 and 1885. In 1885 she travelled to Italy in an attempt to improve her failing health. She died on September 5, 1894, at 57.
During her lifetime her writing was acclaimed and she was considered by some the successor to Elizabeth Barrett Browning
. After her death, however, her reputation quickly declined. Since the mid 1990s she has gained increasing critical attention from scholars such as Isobel Armstrong
, Angela Leighton, and Christine Sutphin, Her best-known poems include three long dramatic monologues spoken by women: "A Castaway," "Circe", and "The Happiest Girl In The World", as well as a posthumously published sonnet-sequence,... Read More