Elizabeth Smith, 1776 - 1806 entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Elizabeth Smith, 1776 - 1806, a young woman of unusual intellectual gifts, aroused public interest by her early death, and by the abilities and especially the piety revealed in her posthumously published works. She was a scholar (particularly in the field of languages) rather than a writer, but her poems, letters, and reflections are worthy of interest as well as her fine translations from German and Hebrew. She was much exercised by the malign image of the 'learned lady', which seems to have made her uneasy about her talents and ambition, but her discussions of this issue proved empowering for many of her immediate (and publishing) successors.
27 December 1776 Elizabeth Smith was born, a second child and eldest daughter, at "the beautiful residence of her paternal ancestors", Bibliographic Citation link. Burnhall or Burn Hall near Durham. Bibliographic Citation link.
7 August 1806 Elizabeth Smith died at Coniston, aged twenty-nine. It was fourteen months since she had been struck down. Bibliographic Citation link.
By August 1808 Fragments in Prose and Verse by a young lady, lately deceased [Elizabeth Smith] was published at Bath, collected and edited after Smith's death by Henrietta Maria Bowdler, and including translations. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
Back to Top