Mary Russell Mitford

Standard Name: Mitford, Mary Russell
Birth Name: Mary Russell Mitford
MRM , poet, playwright, editor, letter-writer, memoirist, and—in just one work—novelist, is best known for her sketches of rural life, especially those in the successive volumes of Our Village (whose first appeared in 1824). Her greatest success came when, under the pressure of her father's inexhaustible capacity for running up debt, she turned from the respected genres of poetry and plays to work at something more popular and remunerative.
Painting of Mary Russell Mitford by John Lucas, c. 1853, based on another by Benjamin Robert Haydon, 1824, which was disliked for its assertive look. Here an oval frame is painted in; Mitford wears a white ruffled cap around her face, a white collar pinned with a cameo, a grey gown and brown shawl.
"Mary Russell Mitford" Retrieved from This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Cultural formation Frances Arabella Rowden
FAR came from the English middle class. She was an Anglican in religion. Mary Russell Mitford represents her as a young teacher taking a relaxed attitude to religious ideas in literary contexts (her students were...
Cultural formation Amelia Opie
It may be significant that this was just two months before her father's death, though her friendship with the Gurney family was also important in her decision to convert. For more than a year she...
death Robert Southey
A year and a half before he died Mary Russell Mitford wrote of him: the mind gone—dark depression and utter failure of intellect.
Mitford, Mary Russell. The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Told by Herself in Letters To Her Friends. L’Estrange, Alfred Guy KinghamEditor , Harper and Brothers, 1870.
2: 232
He has a particularly striking monument in Poets' Corner in...
Education Mary Howitt
Her sister Ann had become a pupil at this school the previous year. Kilham involved the girls in visiting the poor, and her friendship with the poet James Montgomery first awoke Mary's interest in the...
Education Elizabeth Taylor
Her first school, where she went at the age of six, was a little private establishment called Leopold House, which gave a grounding in English and maths and team games.
Beauman, Nicola. The Other Elizabeth Taylor. Persephone Books, 2009.
When Betty was eleven...
Education L. E. L.
This school was advanced for its time, and had educated women such as Mary Russell Mitford and Lady Caroline Lamb . Rowden was herself a writer. While there, LEL learned a great deal of French...
Education Frances Arabella Rowden
Students at the school during the brief period when Rowden was a pupil included a couple of future writers: Martha Mary Butts, later Sherwood, who knew Rowden as a privileged girl in the top...
Education Mary Martha Sherwood
St Quintin was a sophisticated educator who had been French Ambassador in London, and who published pedagogical books which took into consideration the age and development of the children for whom they were designed. He...
Education Fanny Kemble
She studied French and Italian literatures, dancing, and acting under the evangelical influence of this Englishwoman teaching in Paris.
Marshall, Dorothy. Fanny Kemble. Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1977.
Rowden was turning increasingly to religion, but still set store by her girls' productions of...
Family and Intimate relationships Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington
Respectable women had always shunned Blessington on account of her past; now her present too was publicly unacceptable. Her sister Ellen, now well married, dropped her.
Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington,. “Introduction”. Conversations of Lord Byron, edited by Ernest J. Lovell, Princeton University Press, 1969, pp. 3 - 114.
Camilla Crosland later recalled how as an unmarried...
Family and Intimate relationships Mary Ann Browne
Mary Ann Browne married (after some delay and difficulty, according to Mary Russell Mitford ) James Gray .
Archives of the Royal Literary Fund, 1790-1918.
Family and Intimate relationships Selina Davenport
He was in his early twenties, just embarking on a literary career which began with writing poetry (melancholy in tone) and editing and criticising the poetry of others. He enjoyed the patronage of Edmund Burke
Family and Intimate relationships Eleanor Anne Porden
Although EAP was not beautiful—indeed, Mary Russell Mitford (no beauty herself) remarked on her ugliness—
L’Estrange, Alfred Guy Kingham, editor. The Friendships of Mary Russell Mitford as Recorded in Letters from Her Literary Correspondents. Hurst and Blackett, 1882.
1: 121
she was courted by many men. She turned down all proposals of marriage on the grounds that she...
Family and Intimate relationships Caroline Norton
Under Victorian law she was not allowed to participate in the trial. Both her reputation and Melbourne's political career were at stake. In the event the jury found Melbourne innocent without calling one witness for...
Family and Intimate relationships Eliza Cook
After moving into the home of Weekly Dispatch editor James Harmer , she became involved in a scandal (large enough to have been known to Elizabeth Barrett Browning , who wrote of it to Mary Russell Mitford


11 July 1798
Thomas Green reported (not favourably) on Miss Linwood's Exhibition of Needle Work, of works imitating famous paintings such as a Raphael madonna.
Alexander Dyce , then a twenty-seven-year-old reluctant clergyman, published his Specimens of British Poetesses, a project in rediscovering women's literary history.
3 June 1829
Publisher Henry Colburn went into partnership with Richard Bentley (1794 - ­1871) (who, in order to do this, had just dissolved the partnership between himself and his brother Samuel Bentley as printers).
Joseph Henry Parker took over his uncle's Oxford bookselling and publishing business; as J. H. Parker it soon became the foremost publisher of the Oxford or Tractarian Movement.
17 February 1847
The Whittington Club (named after the poor boy who became Lord Mayor of London) held its first meeting. Unlike traditional gentlemen's clubs, it welcomed women and lower-middle-class men.
Mary Russell Mitford complained satirically of a Pusey ite curate in Reading, admired (to her embarrassment) by other women.
A company in Salem, Massachusetts, issued what seems to be the earliest version of a game called Authors, whose object was to collect sets of cards bearing the names of writers and the...