Ward, Mrs. Humphry, 1851–1920, English novelist, whose maiden name was Mary Augusta Arnold; granddaughter of Thomas Arnold. She was born in Tasmania but was brought to England and grew up in Oxford; there, in 1872, she married Thomas Humphry Ward, an editor of the Oxford Spectator. Her first publications were translations of Spanish literature and a children's book, Millie and Olly (1881). Robert Elsmere (1888), a story defending an ethical rather than mystical interpretation of the Bible, made her reputation. Her novels dramatized her view concerning the social application of religious belief and included Fenwick's Career (1906) and The Case of Richard Meynell (1911). Mrs. Ward was also a dedicated social worker; her achievements include the founding of the Invalid Children's School in 1891.
See her autobiography, A Writer's Recollections (1918); biographies by her daughter, J. P. Trevelyan (1923), and E. H. Jones (1973).