Charlotte Smith entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Charlotte Smith, poet and novelist of the later eighteenth century, continued her output especially of children's books, into the very early nineteenth century. She wrote her poems for pleasure, her remarkable, now edited letters for relief from the struggles of a difficult life, but her novels (she said) only "by necessity". Bibliographic Citation link. Many of the latter have foreign settings, not for mere exoticism but to further a political critique which takes a global view. All her writing was done at high speed: she found it hard or impossible to make her income cover the unremitting expenses of her large dependent family. A critic has recently pronounced that "the best of [her] writings . . . should be recognised as among the greatest works of the period." Bibliographic Citation link.
4 May 1749 Charlotte Turner (later CS) was born at King Street, St James's Square, London. Bibliographic Citation link.
Late 1759 The early writings of Charlotte Turner (later CS) included an elegy on the death of General Wolfe, written before she was eleven. Bibliographic Citation link.
10 May 1784 CS, in the King's Bench Prison, arranged the publication of her Elegiac Sonnets, and Other Essays. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
Early June 1784 CS's first book, Elegiac Sonnets, and Other Essays, was finally published. Bibliographic Citation link.
28 February 1793 CS published her currently best-known novel, The Old Manor House. Bibliographic Citation link.
28 October 1806 CS died at Tilford near Farnham in Surrey, perhaps of uterine cancer. Bibliographic Citation link.
Early February 1807 CS's Beachy Head, Fables, and Other Poems appeared, through Joseph Johnson, three months after her death. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
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