Sarah Pearson

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SP began placing poetry in magazines in the late 1780s, and went on to publish two collections, the first political-reformist and sentimental, and the second lighter in tone. She was also the author of a remarkable novel in the genre where the protagonist is an inanimate object.

Milestones

Shortly before 6 June 1767
SP was born in Sheffield. This was the day of her baptism in the cathedral there.
Sandro Jung is mistaken in giving the date of 1779.
Jung, Sandro. “Susanna Pearson and the Elegiac Lyric”. Studia Neophilologica: A Journal of Germanic and Romance Languages and Literature, No. 2, pp. 153 - 64.
153
Ashfield, Andrew. Emails to Isobel Grundy about Sarah/Susanna Pearson, Harriet Downing.
21 May 1788
SP dated the poem which seems to have been her first to appear in print: Sonnet to Painting, which was published under the pseudonym of Angelina in the Sheffield Register on 7 June 1788.
Ashfield, Andrew. Emails to Isobel Grundy about Sarah/Susanna Pearson, Harriet Downing.
21 May 1833
SP died at the age of sixty-five. She was buried three days later at Attercliffe (which is now part of Sheffield), in the family gravesite.
SP has been wrongly said to have died in 1827, the year of Susanna (Flinders) Pearson's death.
Jung, Sandro. “Susanna Pearson and the Elegiac Lyric”. Studia Neophilologica: A Journal of Germanic and Romance Languages and Literature, No. 2, pp. 153 - 64.
153
Ashfield, Andrew. Emails to Isobel Grundy about Sarah/Susanna Pearson, Harriet Downing.

Biography

Earlier versions of this Orlando entry argued correctly that S. Pearson the novelist was the same person as S. Pearson the poet, but wrongly that her given name was Susanna: in fact this name seems to have been first erroneously applied to her by John Watkins and Frederic Shoberl in A Biographical Dictionary of Living Authors in 1816. After this two streams diverged: books about Yorkshire poets called her Sarah, while reference books covering a broader field called her Susanna. Later the situation was further muddled by confusion with the Baptist Susanna Pearson née Flinders (1779-1827), whose deeply religious essays and poems were published at Ipswich in the year of her death.
Ashfield, Andrew. Emails to Isobel Grundy about Sarah/Susanna Pearson, Harriet Downing.
Garside, Peter, James Raven, and Rainer Schöwerling, editors. The English Novel 1770-1829. Oxford University Press, 2000.
1: 621
OCLC WorldCat.
Pearson, Susanna. Essays and Letters . . . with an additional essay on the Throne of Grace. 1827.

Birth and Family