Vol. 5 No. 4 (2021)

Critical Study of William Harrison Ainsworth

Published 2021-12-23


William Harrison Ainsworth, an English historical author, was born on February 4, 1805, in King Street in Manchester. The individual had professional training in the field of law; yet, they did not find any appeal in pursuing a career within the legal profession. During his tenure as a law student in London, he had the opportunity to encounter John Ebers, the publisher who was also serving as the manager of the King's Theatre located in Haymarket. Ebers facilitated Ainsworth's integration into literary and theatrical circles, as well as his introduction to his daughter, who afterwards entered into matrimonial union with Ainsworth. Ainsworth briefly experimented with the publishing industry, although swiftly abandoned this pursuit in favor of dedicating himself to the realms of journalism and writing. The first triumph of his literary career manifested in 1834 with the publication of Rookwood, a work that prominently showcases the figure of Dick Turpin. A succession of 39 books followed, with the last instalment being published in 1881. Ainsworth's death occurred in Reigate on the 3rd of January, 1882, and he was interred in Kensal Green Cemetery.