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Mark Rutherford (William Hale White)

‘Mark Rutherford‘ was the pseudonym of William Hale White (1831-1913). Rutherford is generally classed as a minor Victorian novelist, and noted for his depiction of provincial dissenting life, and of the ’loss of faith’ of the Victorian period. There is much more to Hale White than this. Despite working for over thirty years as a civil servant, he wrote over a thousand newspaper articles, translated works by Spinoza, and wrote various works of literary criticism.

He has never had a wide following, but writers such as Andre Gide, D.H. Lawrence, and Arnold Bennett have all praised his work. The aim of this site is to make Mark Rutherford‘s work more widely known (particularly his journalism), and to act as a forum for discussions about Mark Rutherford.

Comments, criticisms, and especially contributions, are always welcome to David French
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Recent updates

January 2018

There will be a Mark Rutherford Society symposium hosted by RIMAP at the University of Bedfordshire on 23 June 2018 titled 'Literature and ‘The Woman Question': More details and call for papers

December 2015

Letters of Philip Webb to William Hale White available via google scholar

October 2015

A new Mark Rutherford newsletter has been published. Subscribe here.

October 2014

Web site moved from www.concentric.net/~djfrench to www.davidfrench.org.uk/markrutherford

March 2014

The latest Mark Rutherford newsletter is available. It contains a 'Review of the Year's Activities' (2013) by Nick Wilde, 'Researching Mark Rutherford in the 1940s – A Letter from Wilfred Stone', 'Complaint of a Forsaken Civil Servant' by Mark Crees , 'A Very Exciting Time: Arthur Smith in search of William Hale White' by Michael Brealey , 'Dorothy Vernon White and her Help to William Hale White Biographers' by Nick Wilde, Pierre Leyris's Introduction to the French Edition of The Autobiography of Mark Rutherford, introduced and translated by Nick Jacobs , a review: 'Bedford's Victorian Pilgrim – William Hale White in Context' by Michael Brealey, by Catherine Harland, and on the front cover a previously unknown photograph of The Cottage, Groombridge, the house in which Hale White died, with a note by Bob Owens.

July 2013

Nick Wilde's report of the Mark Rutherford symposium held on 22nd June.

August 2012

Michael Brealey, a member of the Society, has published a book about Mark Rutherford: Bedford's Victorian Pilgrim. It is available from the publisher's web site and from Amazon.

January 2012

Irvin Stock, author of a critical study of Hale White, has died aged 91. His obituary in the Boston Globe includes the following: "There is, of course, a sense in which any serious writer is sincere — honesty is a basic condition of his profession and some kind of truth its necessary raw material,'' he wrote in the book, "but we are rarely impelled, except perhaps in mitigation of the charge of failure, to place that word in the centre of a critical portrait. With Hale White, however, it must in fact go in the centre: It is the chief distinction of his work and the source of his finest effects.''

October 2011

Hale White's poem "This is the Night.." was on Poetry Please on Sunday 2nd October.