Elderfield, Main Road, Otterbourne, Winchester SO21 2EQ, UK
St Matthew Churchyard Otterbourne, City of Winchester, Hampshire, England
Charlotte Mary Yonge (August 11, 1823 - May 24, 1901) was an English novelist who wrote to the service of the church. Her books helped to spread the influence of the Oxford Movement. Her abundant work is mostly out of print. Christabel Coleridge was the nominal author of Charlotte Mary Yonge: Her Life and Letters (1903), but the text begins by reproducing an unpublished autobiographical essay Yonge wrote in 1877, intercalated with remarks by Coleridge. The sections of the Life written by Coleridge, conversely, consist of long extracts from Yonge’s letters that take up almost as much space as Coleridge’s own words. Coleridge undertook the biography out of personal friendship for Yonge, and its dialogic form mimics the structure of a social relationship conducted through conversation and correspondence. Anglican novelist Charlotte Yonge described her life as structured by three great friendships, beginning in childhood with a favorite cousin, “My dear, dear Anne, whom I loved always with all my heart!”. Charlotte Yonge wrote enthusiastically in 1858 of “the beauty and charms” of her brother’s new wife.
Charlotte Mary Yonge was born in Otterbourne, Hampshire, England, on 11 August 1823 to William Yonge and Fanny Bargus. She was educated at home by her father, studying Latin, Greek, French, Euclid, and algebra. Yonge's devotion to her father was lifelong and her relationship with him seems to have been for her the standard for all other relationships, including marriage. She was born into a religious family background, was devoted to the High Church, and much influenced by John Keble, Vicar of Hursley from 1835, a near neighbour and one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement. Yonge is herself sometimes referred to as "the novelist of the Oxford Movement", as her novels frequently reflect the values and concerns of Anglo-Catholicism. She remained in Otterbourne all her life and for 71 years was a teacher in the village Sunday school. She lived in a house called Elderfield (which became a grade 2 listed building in 1984). In 1868 a new parish was formed to the south of Yonge's home village of Otterbourne; the parish was to contain the villages of Eastley and Barton. Yonge donated £500 towards the parish church and was asked to choose which of the two villages the parish should be named after. She chose Eastley, but decided that it should be spelt Eastleigh as she perceived this as being more modern. Yonge died in her home town of Otterbourne on 24 May 1901.
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