Mary Collyer

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MC wrote, it seems, at least two novels (her canon is still under debate), and translated and adapted the work of others as a matter of business. The sentimental tone of her original work, Felicia to Charlotte, 1744, perfectly caught the current taste, and made her a great success. She also wrote what is probably the earliest book of stories for children. Since all her publications were anonymous, they used often to be attributed to her husband.

Milestones

By 1717
MC was born; the record of her wedding says that when she married in September 1738 she was over twenty-one.
Culshaw, Geoff. Geoff’s Genealogy.
By June 1744
MC published what is probably her first original work: Felicia to Charlotte; or, Letters from a Young Lady in the Country, a one-volume romantic epistolary novel.
Gentleman’s Magazine. Various publishers.
14 (1744): 344
Feminist Companion Archive.
Probably December 1746
MC (as Mary Homebred) published A Christmass-Box for Masters and Misses, in two small volumes, illustrated with engravings.
This is an early example of special seasonal publication, though the title Christmas Box had been used twice already.
British Library Catalogue.
Immel, Andrea. “A Christmass-Box. Mary Homebred and Mary Collyer: Connecting the Dots”. Children’s Books History Society Newsletter, No. 94, pp. 1 - 4.
1
Gentleman’s Magazine. Various publishers.
19 (1749): 576
Grossman, Joyce. “Social Protest and the Mid-Century Novel: Mary Collyer’s The History of Betty Barnes”. Eighteenth-Century Women: Studies in their Lives, Work, and Culture, edited by Linda V. Troost, pp. 165 - 84.
166
Late 1749
A second edition of MC 's Felicia to Charlotte added a volume two by the author of the First Volume, in which the heroine bears a child.
English Short Title Catalogue.
31 December 1762
MC died of a lingering illness which her husband attributed to agitation of mind
Marivaux, Pierre de. “Introduction”. The Virtuous Orphan; or, The Life of Marianne, Countess of *****, edited by William Harlin McBurney and Michael F. Shugrue, translated by. Mary Collyer, Southern Illinois University Press, 1965, p. xi - xliv.
xxviii
brought on by her translation from Gessner .
Marivaux, Pierre de. “Introduction”. The Virtuous Orphan; or, The Life of Marianne, Countess of *****, edited by William Harlin McBurney and Michael F. Shugrue, translated by. Mary Collyer, Southern Illinois University Press, 1965, p. xi - xliv.
xxviii
By December 1763
MC 's translation from the German of Frederick Klopstock 's The Messiah was posthumously published by her husband .
Feminist Companion Archive.
British Library Catalogue.

Biography

Birth and Background

By 1717
MC was born; the record of her wedding says that when she married in September 1738 she was over twenty-one.
Culshaw, Geoff. Geoff’s Genealogy.