Maria Riddell

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MR was a talented amateur poet, diarist, letter-writer, and writer for children during the Romantic period. She published in 1788 a travel book about the Caribbean which is remarkable for its scientific observation, a critical obituary notice of Robert Burns , and a verse anthology in which she included some of her own work. She remains known primarily as a friend of Burns.
Head-and-shoulders painting of Maria Riddell by Thomas Lawrence, c. 1806. She sits with one bare, braceleted arm raised on her chair, her chin resting on her hand, and her face in profile gazing into the distance. Her empire-style, low-necked gown has a reddish shawl thrown round it, and her dark hair is cut short.
"Maria Riddell" Retrieved from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maria_Woodley_Lawrence.jpg. 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.

Milestones

4 November 1772
Maria Woodley (later MR ) was born in England (whereabouts is not known), the youngest daughter and youngest child but one in her family of seven.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Lindsay, Maurice. The Burns Encyclopedia. St Martin’s Press, 1980.
301
MacNaughton, Angus. Burns’ Mrs Riddell. A Biography. Volturna Press, 1975.
1
17 March 1788
Fifteen-year-old Maria Woodley (later Riddell) was a confident enough occasional poet to engage in jousting in verse in reply to a compliment from the thirtyish Joseph Jekyll ,
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
flirtatiously declining his proffer of love.
MacNaughton, Angus. Burns’ Mrs Riddell. A Biography. Volturna Press, 1975.
4
May 1807
MR penned a poem on Walter Scott 's home (at Lasswade near Melrose Abbey); this may be the last poetry that she wrote.
MacNaughton, Angus. Burns’ Mrs Riddell. A Biography. Volturna Press, 1975.
125
15 December 1808
MR died at Chester less than nine months after her second marriage; many sources erroneously give the date of her death as 1812.
MacNaughton, Angus. Burns’ Mrs Riddell. A Biography. Volturna Press, 1975.
132
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Biography

Birth and Background

4 November 1772
Maria Woodley (later MR ) was born in England (whereabouts is not known), the youngest daughter and youngest child but one in her family of seven.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Lindsay, Maurice. The Burns Encyclopedia. St Martin’s Press, 1980.
301
MacNaughton, Angus. Burns’ Mrs Riddell. A Biography. Volturna Press, 1975.
1