Priscilla Wakefield entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Priscilla Wakefield's sixteen titles, begun at a time when she was past forty and spanning the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, were all published with the aim of improving the state of the world as well as making some income that was much needed by her family. She wrote, chiefly for young people, of scientific knowledge, of other countries, and of history, casting her works in dialogues, letters, or narrative. She also examined the condition of women.
20 November 1750 Priscilla Bell (later PW) was born at Tottenham in Middlesex, then just outside London. She was the eldest in a family of six. Bibliographic Citation link.
1794-1796 PW, in her early forties, published her first work to reach completion, the historical Leisure Hours; or, Entertaining Dialogues between Persons Eminent for Virtue and Magnanimity, through Darton and Harvey, in two volumes. Bibliographic Citation link.
By August 1796 PW published what became her most famous work, An Introduction to Botany, in a series of Familiar Letters with illustrative engravings: the first comprehensive survey of botany to be written by a woman. Bibliographic Citation link.
1816 PW published An Introduction to the Natural History and Classification of Insects. Bibliographic Citation link.
12 September 1832 PW died at Ipswich, aged ninety-one. Bibliographic Citation link.
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