Mary Cowden Clarke

Mary Victoria Cowden Clarke (née Novello; 22 June 1809 – 12 January 1898) was an English author. She was the eldest daughter of Vincent Novello. In 1828, she married her brother Alfred's business partner, Charles Cowden Clarke, and worked with him on Shakespeare studies.


In the year after her marriage, Mary Cowden Clarke began her valuable Shakespeare concordance, which was eventually issued in eighteen monthly parts (1844–1845), and in volume form in 1845 as The Complete Concordance to Shakespeare, being a Verbal Index to all the Passages in the Dramatic Works of the Poet. This work superseded the Copious Index to ... Shakespeare (1790) of Samuel Ayscough, and the Complete Verbal Index ... (1805–1807) of Francis Twiss.[1]


  • Kit Bam's Adventures: or, The Yarns of an Old Mariner (1849)
  • Concordance to Shakespeare 1846
  • The Girlhood of Shakespeare's Heroines 1850
  • The Iron Cousin 1854
  • A Companion to Longfellow's "Hiawatha.": The Song of Drop O' Wather, A London Legend (pseud. Harry Wandsworth Shortfellow) 1856
  • Florence Nightingale 1857
  • World-noted women; or, Types of womanly attributes of all lands and ages. 1858
  • The Life and Labours of Vincent Novello 1864
  • Honey from the Weed (verses, 1881)[2]
  • Memorial Sonnets 1888
  • My long life : an autobiographic sketch 1897


  1. Parisian, Catherine M. (2010). The First White House Library: A History and Annotated Catalogue. Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 144–145. ISBN 9780271037141.
  2. Jarndyce Booksellers' catalogue Women Writers 1795–1927 Part I: A–F (London, Summer 2017).
  • Bleiler, Everett (1948). The Checklist of Fantastic Literature. Chicago: Shasta Publishers. p. 78.
  • Clarke, Mary Cowden. (1851). The Girlhood of Shakespeare's Heroines. W. H. Smith (reissued by Cambridge University Press, 2009 ISBN 978-1-108-00125-0)
  • Clarke, Mary Cowden, ed. (1848). Shakespeare Proverbs. London: Chapman & Hall
  • "Clarke, Mrs. (Mary Victoria Novello, usually known as Mrs. Cowden Clarke)" The Century Cyclopedia of Names: A Pronouncing and Etymological Dictionary of Names in Geography, Biography, Mythology, History, Ethnology, Art, Archæology, Fiction, etc. New York: Century Co, 1904

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