Susannah Gunning

Standard Name: Gunning, Susannah
Birth Name: Susannah Minifie
Married Name: Susannah Gunning
Pseudonym: Mrs Gunning
Pseudonym: A Lady
SG began in the mid eighteenth century, at an early age, as a mediocre sentimental novelist: snobbish, stylistically over-elaborate, centring her plots on wished-for ascent to the nobility, and addressing the reader with girlish coyness. Her later work, produced after a silence of years, is more confident, relaxed, and inventive. She also wrote poetry. Her coded writings about her tortured family relationships, though marred by over-writing, provide a fascinating picture of the conflicts resulting from upward mobility in a tightly stratified society.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Family and Intimate relationships Margaret Minifie
Of her surviving sisters, Hannah and Mary (who were older than her), and Elizabeth, Susanna or Susannah, Ann, and Charlotte (who were younger), Susannah (later Gunning) also became a novelist. Hannah died unmarried at Bath...
Family and Intimate relationships Lady Charlotte Bury
The novelist Susannah Gunning was Charlotte's aunt by marriage.
Family and Intimate relationships Elizabeth Gunning
EG 's mother was the novelist Susannah Gunning .
Family and Intimate relationships Elizabeth Gunning
It was known that Lorne had been in the running before Blandford, who was financially and socially a better catch. Gossips speculated. Love-letters from Blandford, and a letter from the Duke of Marlborough welcoming EG
Friends, Associates Mary Robinson
MR remained devoted to the idea of female friendship. She met the artist Maria Cosway in France and they became firm friends. In her last months she wrote to the novelist Elizabeth Gunning to sympathise...
Leisure and Society Henrietta Sykes
In her diary for 1813 recorded New Year celebrations with much conviviality: she and her guests, she wrote, danced like lunatics. She also listed good novels she had recently read. They included The School for...
Literary responses Elizabeth Gunning
The English Review judged this excellent novel . . . far above the common style of compositions of this kind, both in raising and retaining curiosity, and in conveying amusement together with a sound moral...
Author summary Elizabeth Gunning
EG published, mostly during the later eighteenth century, a number of novels (including the one of her late mother 's which she finished), translations, a children's book, and two unacted plays. Many appeared before her...
Publishing Margaret Minifie
Before the second London edition, 1771, a French translation had appeared, probably at Paris, which purported to have been published in London.
English Short Title Catalogue.
The English Short Title Catalogue makes the all too common mistake of...
Publishing Hannah Brand
It was printed at Norwich and sold through London publishers. The subscription list was impressive, including Anna Letitia Barbauld , John Brand (presumably HB 's brother) of Hemingston Hall in Suffolk, who took twenty copies...
Textual Features Mary Julia Young
MJY foregrounds her own friendship with Anna Maria Crouch, and finds room for such details as the opinions of Crouch's father, Peregrine Phillips , about novelists: he admired Charlotte Smith , Anna Maria Bennett ,...
Textual Features Dorothea Du Bois
In the second volume the grown-up Theodora is living in London, a great reader, and acquainted with the royal family: she is impolite to the Princess Royal when the latter interrupts her reading of Milton
Textual Production Margaret Minifie
MM collaborated as an equal partner with her sister Susannah on two sentimental and didactic epistolary novels.
English Short Title Catalogue.
Textual Production Margaret Minifie
MM published her first novel dating from the years of her sister 's marriage: The Cottage, again epistolary. She put her name on the title-page.
English Short Title Catalogue.
Textual Production Margaret Minifie
MM published another epistolary novel, The Count de Poland, with her name and the explanation, one of the authors of Lady Frances and Lady Caroline S——.
The English Novel 1770-1829 notes that this...


: The Gunning sisters arrived in London from...

Building item


The Gunning sisters arrived in London from Ireland, and created a sensation with their beauty: Maria was aged around seventeen and Elizabeth was a year younger.

1771: In a year when Sir Joshua Reynolds painted,...

Women writers item


In a year when Sir Joshua Reynolds painted, as Girl Reading, his niece Theophila Palmer perusing Richardson 's Clarissa, five novels by women advertised their Clarissa kinship.

By 22 July 1797: William Beckford published a second and more...

Women writers item

By 22 July 1797

William Beckford published a second and more marked burlesque attack on women's writing: Azemia: A Descriptive and Sentimental Novel. Interspersed with Pieces of Poetry.


Gunning, Susannah. A Letter from Mrs. Gunning, Address’d to His Grace The Duke of Argyll. Printed for the author, and sold by Mr. Ridgway and Mr. Boyter, 1791.
Gunning, Susannah. Anecdotes of the Delborough Family. William Lane, Minerva Press, 1792.
Gunning, Susannah. Delves. Allen and West, 1796.
Gunning, Susannah. Family Pictures. W. Nicoll and T. Durham, 1764.
Gunning, Susannah. Fashionable Involvements. T. N. Longman and O. Rees, 1800.
Gunning, Susannah. Love at First Sight. H. Lowndes, 1797.
Gunning, Susannah. Memoirs of Mary. J. Bell, 1793.
Gunning, Susannah, and Elizabeth Gunning. The Heir Apparent. J. Ridgway and H. D. Symonds, 1802.
Gunning, Susannah, and Margaret Minifie. The Histories of Lady Frances S—,— and Lady Caroline S——. R. and J. Dodsley, 1763.
Gunning, Susannah, and Margaret Minifie. The Picture. Printed for the authors and sold by J. Johnson, 1766.
Gunning, Susannah. Virginius and Virginia. William Lane, Minerva Press, 1792.