Harriet Smythies entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Harriet Smythies launched a forty-five-year career in 1835 with a romantic, historical, narrative poem. Her later poems, all of substantial length, deal with contemporary public events. She set her name to these (after the first) but not for many years to her fiction, which until then she published allusively. Her more than twenty novels begin, like her poetry, with stories of the vicissitudes of courtship, in which at least some of the central lovers need moral improvement or reform before their happy ending. Her later novels become more complex and accomplished in their social satire but the love stories (now lighter in touch) remain dominant.
Probably 1813 Harriet Maria Gordon (later HS) was born at Margate in Kent. If the date is correct she was the eldest in a family of three. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
By 22 August 1835 The future HS (not yet married) reached publication for the first time with her anonymous narrative poem The Bride of Siena. Bibliographic Citation link.
After 11 February 1840 Harriet Gordon (later Smythies) published anonymously Cousin Geoffrey, the Old Bachelor. A Novel. To which is added Claude Stocq, a novel sharing three volumes with the unrelated "Claude Stocq: A Tale of the Sixteenth Century", translated from French by Theodore Hook. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
1875 HS entitled her novel of this year (listed as her final one by both Montague Summers and the British Library Catalogue) Eva's Fortunes. Bibliographic Citation link.
15 August 1883 HS died at 24 Brunswick Square, her house in London, after a long illness. Bibliographic Citation link.
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