The January 1913 edition of The Strand Magazine featured a short story titled “The Longest Day of Her Life” by W. B. Maxwell, prolific during his time but virtually unknown in modern studies of the Modernist Era. The son of popular novelist Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Maxwell spent much of his life writing and pursuing the creative arts; though in contact from a young age with some of the premier figures of the British literati, including Robert Browning, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Oscar Wilde, Maxwell was most inspired by his literary mother. Loving, kind, and immensely talented, Braddon set an example for her son that he spent all his days attempting to imitate. His parents experienced a loving, supportive relationship, and after marrying Sydney Brabazon Moore in 1906, Maxwell found similar marital felicity; in his autobiography he shared fondly, “I will say here that in Sydney Moore I became blessed with the dearest and most perfect wife anybody ever had. All that a woman can do for a man, to guide him, elevate him, sustain him, and make him happy has been done for me by her” (Maxwell 182). Surrounded by such positive examples of marriage, it is perhaps no surprise that many of his short stories dealt with the subject of family and spousal relationships.
Umphress, Nicole, "“The Longest Day of Her Life”: Affirming Pre-WWI Gender Roles" (2018). Modernist Short Story Project. 5.