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Mary Collyer entry: Overview screen.
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Overview
Writing
Life
Writing and Life
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Mary Collyer wrote, it seems, at least two novels (her canon is still under debate), and translated and adapted the work of others as a matter of business. The sentimental tone of her original work, Felicia to Charlotte, 1744, perfectly caught the current taste, and made her a great success. She also wrote what is probably the earliest book of stories for children. Since all her publications were anonymous, they used often to be attributed to her husband.
Milestones
By 1717 MC was born; the record of her wedding says that when she married in September 1738 she was over twenty-one. Bibliographic Citation link.
By June 1744 MC published what is probably her first original work: Felicia to Charlotte; or, Letters from a Young Lady in the Country, a one-volume romantic epistolary novel. Bibliographic Citation link.
Probably December 1746 MC (as 'Mary Homebred') published A Christmass-Box for Masters and Misses, in two small volumes, illustrated with engravings. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
Late 1749 A second edition of MC's Felicia to Charlotte added a volume two by 'the author of the First Volume', in which the heroine bears a child. Bibliographic Citation link.
31 December 1762 MC died of "a lingering illness" which her husband attributed to "agitation of mind" Bibliographic Citation link. brought on by her translation from Gessner. Bibliographic Citation link.
By December 1763 MC's translation from the German of Frederick Klopstock's The Messiah was posthumously published by her husband. Bibliographic Citation link.
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