“Ouida” Maria Louise Rame
1839 – 1908 A.D.
Ouida, the pen name – derived from a childish attempt to pronounce “Louisa” – of Maria Louise Rame, an English novelist, of French-English parentage. At an early age she went to live in London, and there began to contribute to the magazines.
In 1865 – 1867 three of her best novels – Strathmore, Chandos, and Under Two Flags were brought out and immediately established her vogue as a born story-teller, picturesque, and at times strikingly dramatic. Among her other popular novels are Puck, Signa, A Dog of Flanders, Two Little Wooden Shoes, Moths, and The Nürnberg Stove. In 1874 she made her home in Florence, and many of her later novels have an Italian setting.
Ouida’s romances are often false in their interpretation of the significance of conduct, and in sentiment sham and tawdry. She had little more than a bowing acquaintance with the glittering military and fashionable life she delighted to depict. The Italian peasant, however, she knew at first hand and presented with faithfulness and sympathy. She loved dogs, and in certain of her stories has presented memorable pictures of them. An ardent anti-suffragist and anti-vivisectionist, she put her convictions on these subjects into Views and Opinions (1895) and Critical Studies (1900).
Ouida made a great deal of money by her earlier books, but spent it without thought for the morrow, and died in poverty.
Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.