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J.H. Riddell

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AKA: Mrs. Joseph H. Riddell and Charlotte Elizabeth Lawson Cowan Riddell. Sometimes published under the names C.E.L. Riddell, Catherine Riddell or F.G. Trafford

Charlotte Riddell aka Mrs J.H. Riddell (30 September 1832 – 24 September 1906) was one of the most popular and influential writers of the Victorian period. The author of 56 books, novels and short stories, she was also part owner and editor of the St. James's Magazine, one of the most prestigious literary magazines of the 1860s.

Born Charlotte Eliza Lawson Cowan in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Ireland on 30 September 1832, Riddell was the youngest daughter of James Cowan, of Carrickfergus, High Sheriff for the county of Antrim and Ellen Kilshaw of Liverpool, England.

In the winter of 1855, four years after her father's death, she and her mother moved to London. Charlotte was visited by death again the following year when her mother died. In 1857 she married Joseph Hadley Riddell, a civil engineer, originally from Staffordshire, but resident in London. It is known that they moved to live in St John's Lodge between Harringay and West Green in the mid-1860s, moving out in 1873 as the area was being built up. She was the author of many ghost stories, six of which were published as Weird Stories in 1882.

Her husband died in 1880. Charlotte lived a lonely life thereafter until she died from cancer in Ashford, Kent, England on 24 September 1906.

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