Ellen Wood, was an English novelist, better known as "Mrs. Henry Wood". She is perhaps remembered most for her 1861 novel East Lynne, but many of her books became international best-sellers, being widely received in the United States and surpassing Charles Dickens' fame in Australia.
Was born in Worcester in 1814. In 1836 she married Henry Wood, who worked in the banking and shipping trade in Dauphiné in the South of France, where they lived for 20 years. On the failure of Wood's business, the family (including four children) returned to England and settled in Upper Norwood near London, where Ellen Wood turned to writing. This supported the family (Henry Wood died in 1866). She wrote over 30 novels, many of which (especially East Lynne) enjoyed remarkable popularity. Among the best known are Danesbury House, Oswald Cray, Mrs. Halliburton's Troubles, The Channings, Lord Oakburn's Daughters and The Shadow of Ashlydyat. In 1867, Wood purchased the English magazine Argosy, which had been founded by Alexander Strahan in 1865. Her writing tone would be described as "conservative and Christian," occasionally expressing religious rhetoric. She wrote much of the magazine herself, but other contributors included Hesba Stretton, Julia Kavanagh, Christina Rossetti, Sarah Doudney and Rosa Nouchette Carey. Wood continued as its editor until her death in 1887, when her son Charles Wood took over.Wood's works were translated into many languages, including Russian. Leo Tolstoy, in a 9 March 1872 letter to his older brother Sergei, noted that he was "reading Mrs. Wood's wonderful novel In the Maze". Wood wrote several works of supernatural fiction, including "The Ghost" (1862) and the often anthologized "Reality or Delusion?" (1868). At her death (caused by bronchitis) her estate was valued at over £36,000, then a very considerable sum. She was buried in Highgate Cemetery, London. A monument to her was unveiled in Worcester Cathedral in 1916 (font: Wikipedia).