Elizabeth Rundle Charles was an English writer of some fifty books, the majority of a semi-religious character, and the translator of a number of hymns. Born at Tavistock on January 2, 1828, she was the daughter of John Rundle, Member of Parliament. Some of her youthful poems won the praise of Tennyson, who read them in manuscript form. She married Andrew Paton Charles in 1851.
Her best known book, written to order to for an editor who wished for a story about Martin Luther, The Chronicles of the Schonberg-Cotta Family, was published in 1862. It was subsequently translated into most of the European languages, as well as Arabic and many Indian dialects. Affiliated with the Anglican Church, she took an active role in the work of various charitable institutions. Her friends and correspondents included Dean Stanley, Archbishop Tait, minister and Waterbabies author Charles Kingsley, Jowett and Pusey.
Her works include The Voice of Christian Life in Song, or Hymns and Hymn-writers of Many Lands and Ages (1859), The Three Wakings and Other Poems (1859), Wanderings over Bible Lands and Seas (1862), Winifred Bertram and the World She Lived In (1866), Poems (1867), The Draytons and the Davenants (1869), Songs Old and New (1882), and Conquering and to Conquer: The Diary of Brother Bartholomew. A number of Charles' hymns appeared in The Family Treasury, edited by William Arnot (1808-1875).
She died at Hampstead, London, on March 28, 1896.
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