Catherine Fanshawe entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Catherine Fanshawe wrote mostly in the early nineteenth century, though she began before the end of the old century. She composed private poems and letters (of which only a tiny proportion survive); sophisticated, high-spirited, sharp-tongued parodies; political commentary in poetry; and verse jokes, often at the expense of established writers. Her high reputation during her lifetime was entirely that of an amateur, and so did not long survive.
6 July 1765 CF was born at her father's estate, Shabden at Chipstead in Surrey; she was the middle one in a family of three sisters; one brother died very young and the other as a young man. Bibliographic Citation link.
1801 CF composed what eventually became one of the best-known of her little-known poems; it was later entitled "Epistle to Earl Harcourt, on his wishing her to spell the name of Catherine with a K". Bibliographic Citation link.
March 1833 Catherine Fanshawe wrote two political verse satires which appeared anonymously in the Morning Post: "Provision for a Family" and "Speech of the Member for Odium". Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
14 April 1834 CF died at nearly seventy while staying at Putney Heath; she had suffered badly for months from a disease of the spine. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
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