Phebe Gibbes entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
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Phebe Gibbes was an eighteenth-century novelist (of great gifts but extreme obscurity), who also wrote (from financial need) drama and periodical essays, and projected a sociological study of the lower classes. Her canon is, like most information about her, full of uncertainties; it has generally been assumed, however, that applicants to the Royal Literary Fund told the truth about what they had written.
18 March 1736 PG may have been the Phebe French born on this day in Peartree Alley in Shoreditch to Martha and Anthony French. But she may instead have been born to Sarah and Thomas French of Edge Hill in Warwickshire, close to where she was living in 1761. Bibliographic Citation link.
By April 1764 PG published anonymously a novel entitled The Life and Adventures of Mr. Francis Clive, one of two works she issued this year, which may be her first. Bibliographic Citation link.
24 February 1789 PG was paid £20 by publisher James Dodsley for her anonymous, epistolary novel Hartly House, Calcutta, published by June. Bibliographic Citation link.
1805 PG reported to the Royal Literary Fund her "unsubduable aspiration . . . to perfect before she dies, a work that will evince, she has not lived in vain." She had such a work on the stocks, but seems not to have finished it. Bibliographic Citation link.
Some time before 8 May 1822 PG must have died some time before (perhaps long before) this date, on which her death is first explicitly mentioned. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
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