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The Duchess Who Wasn't Day – August 27, 2023

The Duchess Who Wasn’t Day is celebrated every year on August 27. This creatively named day celebrates the life of Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, a novelist who published most of her novels under the pen name of ‘The Duchess.’ Margaret Wolfe Hungerford has over 57 pieces published; the number might be much higher because most of her early works were published under the pseudonym ‘Anonymous.’ She has also contributed to several newspapers. She was responsible for a huge family, with four girls and two sons.

History of The Duchess Who Wasn't Day

Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, the eldest daughter of a Church Minister in Ireland, was born in 1885 in Rosscarbery, County Cork, where she honed her literary skills. Margaret enjoyed creating stories for her pals and won numerous school writing competitions. In 1872, she married Edward Argles, a Dubin solicitor, when she was 17. She was left with three daughters when she was widowed at 23. After that, she began writing passionately to support herself and her family. She returned to Milleen House in Rosscarbery, where she grew up. She had been writing throughout her marriage, but her career took off only after she began publishing.

When she returned to Cork, she fell in love with the eldest son of the local landlord, Thomas Henry Hungerford. He had trained for the army, but his family refused to let him go. He traveled for the Boer War in South Africa in 1881 but was called back by his mother claiming to be worried about his father, which was a ruse to get him married to a wealthy young lady.

He secretly married Margaret in London, which was unacceptable to his mother. Margaret Wolfe Hungerford lived happily and wrote for another eight years in St Brenda’s. She eventually died on January 24, 1897, at the age of 42, from typhoid fever.

The Duchess Who Wasn't Day timeline

1885
Duchess is Born

Margaret Wolfe Hungerford is born as the eldest daughter of a Church Minister in Ireland.

1872
Marriage of Duchess

She marries Edward Argles in 1872 at the age of 17.

1882
New Beginning and Remarriage

Margaret Wolfe Hungerford remarries a decade after her first marriage to Thomas Henry Hungerford.

1897
Death of Duchess

She dies on January 24, 1897, at 42, from typhoid fever.

The Duchess Who Wasn't Day FAQs

Why is Authors Day celebrated?

Authors Day is celebrated to recognize American authors and their works.

Who is the most published female author in the world?

J. K. Rowling is the most published female author in the world.

Who is the first female novelist?

Aphra Behn is considered the first female novelist.

The Duchess Who Wasn't Day Activities

  1. Read up about the duchess

    Read up about the intriguing life of Margaret Wolfe Thunderford. Learn what inspired her to write the stories she did.

  2. Learn about other anonymous writers

    Along with Margaret Wolfe, many women took pen names to publish their work. Read about them and understand how they attempted to defy societal expectations.

  3. Read her books

    Go through her books. Her other writings include A Little Rebel, Phyllis, Faith and Unfaith, and Molly Bawn.

5 Facts About Margaret Wolfe Hungerford

  1. “Molly Bawn” is her well-known work

    The phrase "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is from “Molly Bawn.”

  2. She had a comfortable childhood

    She is believed to have had a comfortable early childhood as she had a good education just a decade after the Great Famine.

  3. Her first novel was “Phyllis”

    Her first novel was "Phyllis" which was followed by “Molly Bawn.”

  4. She set aside time for writing

    She set aside three hours each morning for writing in a well-organized space that housed all her reference materials.

  5. She left an unfinished work

    When she died, she was still working on "The Coming of Chloe" and left incomplete work.

Why We Love The Duchess Who Wasn't Day

  1. It celebrates Margaret Wolfe Hungerford

    This day is dedicated to the great author. It celebrates her life and the effort she has put into her work.

  2. It is a day for female authors

    This day celebrates female authors. This day is for all those authors who had difficulty getting recognition because of their gender.

  3. It is a celebration of literature

    This day celebrates literature and its importance. Literature is a huge part of our lives as it entertains and teaches us simultaneously.

The Duchess Who Wasn't Day dates

YearDateDay
2023August 27Sunday
2024August 27Tuesday
2025August 27Wednesday
2026August 27Thursday
2027August 27Friday

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