Mary Matilda Betham entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Mary Matilda Betham, writing during the Romantic period, had a vocation as a poet which she took very seriously and which was recognised during her lifetime by positive reviews and the respect of more famous poets. Yet a large part of her output seems to be untraceable: she often published anonymously in magazines, or sent work to friends that never reached print. A strong interest in women's literary history informs her biographical dictionary of women (which provides rich coverage of writers) and her adaptations and fictionalisation of the twelfth-century poet Marie de France and her poetry.
Late 1775 Though MMB is generally said to have been born at Stradbroke in Suffolk, it was probably her christening that was recorded on 1 January 1776 at Haceby in Lincolnshire. Bibliographic Citation link.
1804 MMB published her Biographical Dictionary of the Celebrated Women of every Age and Country. It appeared in two separate editions this year, one of 774 pages and one of 872. Bibliographic Citation link.
By late 1816 Matilda Betham published The Lay of Marie, A Poem, dedicated to Lady Bedingfield and advertising itself as "from a diss. by G. de la Rue on Marie de France, and abstracts of her lays." Bibliographic Citation link.
30 September 1852 MMB died at an address in Burton Street, London; she was in her mid-seventies. Bibliographic Citation link.
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