Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Lady Mildmay's medical writings include instructions for making up medicines (not individual prescriptions but remedies to be manufactured in bulk), and sophisticated analysis of the causes and treatment of various diseases, based on the humours theory of as well as on Christian writers.
She argued for moderation, maintaining that it was a dangerous thing to wear and distract the humours in the body by extreme purges or extreme cordials.
She lists treatments according to the perceived causes of disease (attributing smallpox, for instance, the arch enemy of this masterpiece of nature, to the abundant putrefaction of blood and phlegm in the vessels of the spleen or matrix).
She adds lists of substances which affect different parts of the body, and recipes for medicaments.
Montagu in her travel book shows herself an acute observer of the various Christian European cultures, as well as of Islamic Europe and Turkey, and the classically-haunted Mediterranean. She tends to approve Protestant or republican states, and to disparage anything ancien régime (she admires technological advance, despises gothic architecture, and never tires of poking fun at Catholic reverence for relics), yet she often writes enthusiastically of the charm of individual monarchs. She delights in the fantastic opulence of Turkey (which, she says, suggests that oriental romances are actually realistic) yet describes daily life and manners there in almost sociological style. She evidently excised duplication and personal passages from her actual letters, but retained a general aptness of material to recipient, writing to her of clothes and social customs, to the abbé her Enlightenment cultural and religious analysis, and to of literary matters. She enters with gusto into correcting the errors of previous travellers to Turkey, and delights in taking the part of Islam against Christendom, especially in disputing the generally accepted view that Europe shows its superiority in the status accorded its women. She notes that Turkish married women own property. One of these letters admiringly describes, in careful empirical detail, the eastern medical practice of inoculation against smallpox, and declares her intention of one day introducing it to England. Her openness to other cultures suffered a regrettable lapse in North Africa, where she seemed blind to the humanity of the local people, as she was nowhere else.
It was advertised as intended for the younger and politer Sort of Ladies,
though the reader is conventionally referred to as he. Advertising and other publicity was on a larger scale than for any other of Haywood's works. It ran for two years: twenty-four numbers.
Publishing anonymously, claimed to chair a committee of women: several members of one body, of which I am the mouth.
Doubt that this could really be women's writing is voiced more than once, over the name of male correspondents. A frontispiece depicts the authors gathered at a tea-table (the sign of Fame visible behind them in the top of the picture). The editor is a sober, middle-aged woman who was a coquette in her youth. Others in the club include Mira, a society widow (wearing black in the illustration), and Euphrosine, a merchant's daughter who after losing her beauty to smallpox (as 's Victoria does in a fiction of a few years later) has acquired intellectual interests (thereby allowing her sister to take over the role of their mother's favourite).
This novel's handling of slavery is one source of its interest. Jamaica has refused to own slaves until his marriage brings into his hands a plantation worked by slave labour (together with a wife whose deplorable character has been further corrupted by slave-owning). Back in England, he tries to emulate the ideal community he discovered during the narrative of Millenium Hall. Again one of the women in the story, Louisa Tunstall, has the course of her life changed by smallpox. The novel ends with much marrying and remarrying. Critic notes on the one hand that the basis of financial comfort for women in this novel is almost invariably widowhood, but on the other hand how many widows end up by re-marrying.writes more as ameliorist than an abolitionist. Sir George during his time as a merchant in
The Delicate Distress charts the direction for all 's three novels: it shows a wife suffering emotional distress and behaving impeccably. Emily, Lady Woodville, the novel's sentimental centre, exchanges letters with her elder sister, (a wise and loving counsellor to a wide circle), about her anxiety when her husband's former mistress, a worthless marchioness, reappears in their lives and shows every sign of luring him into adulterous love. A whole series of subordinate and inset plots anatomise the various levels of happy and unhappy marriage, for purposes of comparison. In the end Lady Woodville's unwavering goodness and her refusal to blame her husband win him back. Social topics debated among the characters include philosophy, comparison of male with female friendship, the question whether ladies, in general, wrote better, in the epistolary stile, than men,
the question of inoculation against smallpox (women, it seems, need immense courage to face inoculating either their children or themselves, while men need to be protected by ignorance of the whole matter), and what a virtuous woman ought to do if she ceases to love her husband.
Inset stories include the particularly moving one of Charlotte Beauchamp, who entered a convent after her lover Lord Seymour killed her brother in a duel: Lucy and I, read, and wept, by turns—When one of us began to falter, the other endeavoured to relieve her; but there were many passages, that neither of us could repeat aloud, and only gazed silently on, through the dim medium of our tears.
The heroine, Fanny Warley, is supposed dead but survives, is supposed poor but turns out to be the daughter of Lady and Sir James Powis and therefore rich; she has smallpox but keeps her beauty. One character is strikingly delicate, which is necessary to the plotting. The abbey and its gardens are presented as a modern-day paradise. The hero is a Lord Darcey, and his marriage to Fanny is accompanied at the end with that of Elizabeth Delves to the only other eligible bachelor in the story (also a lord).
Among the pleasures of Brussels when the armies gathered before, and came back in broken fragments after, the battle of Waterloo. She is a perceptive delineator of people: in sketches of suitors both longed-for and unwanted—in which, however, discretion and reticence somewhat mute the story—of her husband's vegetable gardening, or her small son getting his inoculation for smallpox. She is, besides, equally skilled in rendering interiority: her early painting of scenes in which romantic interest is hinted or implied rather than expressed; the ups and downs of her whirlwind, bilingual, middle-aged courtship; the feelings with which, as an elderly wife, she watched from an upstairs window her beloved, also elderly husband mount his horse and ride off with the French monarchist army; and those with which she made her way, alone, among real, unpredictable dangers to join him.'s life-writing are the way it revels in nonce-words and other innovative uses of language, and the play it makes with dramatic techniques like scene-setting and dialogue. Many famous passages reflect her vivid apprehension of the world around her, and her ability to capture it in language: the sequence about her entry into the limelight as a published author; her accounts of and other famous figures; her moonlight conversation with the mad after he had pursued her and she had run away; steady attendance at the trial of ; the harrowing detail of her unanaethetized mastectomy; the turmoil of living in
The finished work, published in 1808, begins with a sketch of the history of what became New York State, and continues to cover a good deal of political and historical matters. In the second volume the autobiographical emerges, in detail of Albany, New York, and the nearby native settlement, including comment on , sovereign of the Five Nations. She consistently praises and defends the Mohawks, those interesting and deeply reflecting natives,'s childhood reading habits and her developing relationship with her previously unknown father. In addition to the description of Schuyler's life, AG's memoirs incorporate the history of
those generous tribes . . . those valuable allies. The lurking ambivalence of her positions is indicated by the way she insists that the Mohawks are not like other Indians,
and again in her calling their language indeed . . . noble and copious—especially considering that it served as the vehicle of thought to a people whose ideas and sphere of action we should consider as so very confined.
She introduces her passage on women in Indian society (at one point she uses the phrase [a]n Indian or native American)
with a quotation from writing on Vienna as a paradise for old women; this emphasizes her point about the respect shown in native American society towards older women (those who have given birth to a warrior)
although she also insists on the Mohawk women's perpetual drudgery and the slavish employments considered beneath the dignity of the men, to which she says they are confined until they qualify for respect.
She discusses the various visits of Native American dignitaries to England, denies that Indians are indolent though she accepts that they are drunken. She shows a political grasp of the forces acting on them: she entitles one chapter Means by which the Independence of the Indians was first diminished.
These means included the trading relationship and the introduction of alcohol. The Mohawks, she notes, considered drink and smallpox as a moral and a physical plague which we had introduced among them, for which our arts, our friendship, and even our religion, were a very inadequate recompence.
The Indians, she says, should shame us Christians.
This novel opens in a village containing the gothic priory of Ruthinglenne, in one of the richest and most luxuriant counties in the northern part of England.
The heroine, Benigna, is the daughter of a soldier (Benignus) whose choice of career killed his mother with grief, and who comes home only long enough for his pregnant wife to give birth before both depart to war. The baby is brought up by her clergyman grandfather. (Her inoculation for smallpox at six months is treated in detail; she is thought in some danger, but survives.) When she is four, her grandfather goes mad as a delayed reaction to her father's death in a duel. After the deaths of both her grandfather and her guardian, her marriage to Lord Ruthinglenne is prevented by the dramatic warning of an admonitory ghost. Her various sufferings before the happy ending include being drugged and abducted to a brothel.
The title-page quotes smallpox.. uses a more elaborate style in this novel than formerly. It centres on Matilda, daughter of the widowed Earl of Colchester, and on Mrs Clarendon, the widow of a colonel, who at the outset of the novel is engaged as Matilda's governess and mother-figure. This gossipy, domestic, upper-class novel covers two generations and deals with child-rearing issues such as inoculation for
pleasing and delicate in her person, and a woman of great feeling and indisputable abilities, though the democratic spirit of her writings has made them fall into disrepute., she insists, was
She makes no critical comment on the writings of (Mrs Godwin), for whom her sources were contemporary magazines, but refuses to criticise her actions. She calls her [t]his singular woman and writes matter-of-factly: [u]ncomfortable at home, she left it. (Since had done the same, she would not be likely to disapprove.) With equal matter-of-factness she identifies 's latter and best works.
She is discreet about and spiritedly defends against imputations with which her memory is loaded and which may be due, she says, to the malice of . (On the other hand she swallows whole the story of Sappho choosing to die for love of Phaon). She is a brisk, effective critic and historian. she sums up as famous for her Beauty, Wit, Misfortunes, and Penitence.
The characteristics of 's plays are bustle, spirit, and plot. Macaulay's history is a violent attack on the whole race of the Stuarts.
Mention of causes her to compute the number of lives so far saved by smallpox inoculation at 139,652. She effectively marshals her scholarly arguments to maintain that , was the real author of The Whole Duty of Man.
Finally escaping from France after surviving smallpox, Augusta settles on her Irish estate with her little son, sets up a school, provides work for her tenants, raises their wages, employs her faithful priest (her former teacher) as her chaplain and pays another priest to minister to the parish. However, she struggles with her mother-in-law over the custody of her son. She remains a philanthropic widow when the story ends. delivers a closing political message which identifies Ireland's problems as economic, and in the power of landlords to remedy. If other landlords would do their duty, there would soon be an end of these violent struggles between the rich and poor which at this time desolate the kingdom. She signs off: So, patient reader, having waded with me through so much prolixity, I wish thee a good night.
The two parts of the story, in England and then Ireland, are connected only through the consciousness of Helen, who is not a generic child but a fully individualised character: Little Helen was very fond of grand sounding sentences, and of bringing into her talk any nice out-of-the-way word she had heard her mamma use, or picked out of a book.
One day she gives her mother the slip and goes to visit some poor children she knows. She finds them covered in spots. renders not only the child's experience of catching smallpox, but her experience of not understanding what is happening. When her mother and a neighbour find her in the cottage, the neighbour screams. Once home, her mother, who has to go out, makes Helen promise she will stay shut in her room alone, and not come out on any pretext to join her brothers and sisters. The others suppose this to be a punishment and urge her to disobey, but she stays staunchly in her cold room, while brother Hilary comes and sits outside the door, singing to her. When her mother returns, Helen is bundled out of the house and off to stay with friends, for unexplained reasons. A week into her exile, she gets up one morning with a pain in her head, and then she cannot think why, when she feels so terrible, everyone tells her that she has the smallpox very favourably.
In the love plot Richard Talbot, violently drawn against his will to Elinor, sees through her on several successive occasions, only to have her lure him back again. Disenchanted with her, he becomes engaged to Stella, who has loved him from the outset. This good and evil love are diametrically opposed at the climax of the novel, when Stella falls mortally ill. At this juncture Richard receives a heart-rending letter from Elinor telling him that she too is dangerously ill. He breaks faith with Stella to go to her, and is only saved from worse treachery because Elinor's six-year-old sister innocently lets slip that another admirer, now waiting outside, has been squiring Elinor about and that her illness is in fact a sham. This episode, however, withholds Richard too long from Stella's bedside, and she dies before he arrives. Only when he sees Titus's grief does Richard realise that Titus too loved Stella, and lost her to him, the rival who loved another. But whereas Talbot's spirit sank engulphed [sic] in the unutterable depths of grief,
Orr has already, since his loss of Stella to Talbot, found another woman he can love, Clemence Dromore. The novel closes on the dawning happiness of this chastened pair, both middle-of-the-road reformers, while the non-political Elinor faces a hopeless joyless dingy future with an unbrilliant third-rate member of an unaristocratic party.
Robinson shows herself a versatile novelist, equally skilled at narration (for instance, in her account of Talbot's experience of smallpox),
and at dialogue (for instance, in rendering Stella's deathbed, where narration is almost absent, so that the gaps and pauses and inadequacies of the characters' words are nakedly revealed).
In this work smallpox, enteric and dengue fevers, leprosy, cancer, and other diseases and epidemics.catalogues some of the projects sponsored by the Health Organization of the League of Nations (which was later, on 22 July 1946, absorbed into the ). Especially she looks at research into, and programmes for, the prevention and treatment of cholera, tuberculosis, malaria, typhus,