Mrs. Humphrey Ward (1851-1920) was a very popular Victorian novelist, whose works did not retain their popularity after her lifetime. The Bloomsbury’s Guide to Women’s Literature states that her novels, which numbered more than twenty, “deal principally with social and religious themes, often contrasting tradition and progress." Mrs. Ward was also an active anti-suffragist, becoming president of the league opposing rights for women in 1908.
In one speech, she cited one of her many reasons opposing women’s rights:
“The spheres of men and women, owing to natural causes, are essentially different, and therefore their share in the public management of the State should be different.”
The Bloomsbury Guide again: “like many Victorians, she believed that women should set a moral example, as issuing firstly from the home. Ward was also known to be a severe critic of other women writers.”
I’m not sure what Rosamund meant about the name, perhaps that it sounded old fashioned, as Mrs. Ward died in 1920. I like that the show drops in these references, even though I am definitely not feeling inspired to read the novels of Mrs. Ward.