Maria Riddell

Standard Name: Riddell, Maria
Birth Name: Maria Woodley
Indexed Name: Maria Bankes Woodley
Indexed Name: Maria Banks Woodley
Pseudonym: Maria R****
Married Name: Maria Fletcher
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.
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Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Family and Intimate relationships Robert Burns
Burns was regularly engaged with at least one woman or another from his teenage years onwards. A number of his notorious love-affairs and sentimental friendships had for object women who wrote. His relationships with poet...
Friends, Associates Helen Craik
HC 's friends included the writers Maria Riddell and Robert Burns (as well as the former's brother-in-law Robert Riddell ). She corresponded with Burns, and praised his work in high terms.
Literary responses Mary Whateley Darwall
In April 1774 (ten years on from her first volume but long before her second) the Monthly Review (in a notice of Hannah More 's The Inflexible Captive) listed MWD as one of the...


8 June 1768
A Society of Gentlemen in Scotland
English Short Title Catalogue.
issued proposals for printing by subscription a work to be called Encyclopædia Britannica, to be edited by the man of letters William Smellie .