Maria Riddell entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Maria Riddell was a talented amateur poet, diarist, letter-writer, and writer for children during the Romantic period. She published in 1788 a travel book about the Caribbean which is remarkable for its scientific observation, a critical obituary notice of Robert Burns, and a verse anthology in which she included some of her own work. She remains known primarily as a friend of Burns.
4 November 1772 Maria Woodley (later MR) was born in England (whereabouts is not known), the youngest daughter and youngest child but one in her family of seven. Bibliographic Citation link.
17 March 1788 Fifteen-year-old Maria Woodley (later Riddell) was a confident enough occasional poet to engage in "jousting in verse" in reply to a compliment from the thirtyish Joseph Jekyll, Bibliographic Citation link. flirtatiously declining his proffer of love. Bibliographic Citation link.
May 1807 MR penned a poem on Walter Scott's home (at Lasswade near Melrose Abbey); this may be the last poetry that she wrote. Bibliographic Citation link.
15 December 1808 MR died at Chester less than nine months after her second marriage; many sources erroneously give the date of her death as 1812. Bibliographic Citation link.
Back to Top