Sarah Trimmer

Standard Name: Trimmer, Sarah
Birth Name: Sarah Kirby
Married Name: Sarah Trimmer
ST 's writing arose out of her work for two causes, religion and education, brought most closely together in her interest in Sunday schools. She edited magazines and was a pioneer both in animal stories for children and in the reviewing of children's books. Her pedagogical concerns place her in the tradition of Barbauld and Genlis , but her sense of religion is narrower, and her writing more pedestrian. She was a populariser and an activist for better training for the poor. From the opening of her publishing career in the 1780s, her output was phenomenally high; its continuance after her death suggests a kind of production line or at least a family business.
Painting of Sarah Trimmer by Henry Howard, exhibited 1798. She sits at a table bearing books (including a bible), inkwell and spare quill pens, holding one pen and some sheets of paper (as well as her spectacles). Her grey hair is mostly covered by a white mob cap with grey ribbon round it; she wears a checked dress and a black shawl with white neckerchief and black neckband. She is smiling slightly. National Portrait Gallery.
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Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Education Angela Brazil
Her home, too, contributed importantly to her education. She drew, painted, and made serious, carefully-labelled collections of wild flowers, stones, shells, and seaweed. Her first book, encountered at home when she was five and a...
Education Charlotte Yonge
CY , not yet five, began reading Sarah Trimmer 's Fabulous Histories (moral tales published in 1786 about baby birds, which later became The History of the Robins).
Battiscombe, Georgina, and E. M. Delafield. Charlotte Mary Yonge: The Story of an Uneventful Life. Constable and Company, 1943.
Education Frances Power Cobbe
FPC received lessons from her nurse Martha Jones and from her mother . Her reading included Sarah Trimmer 's History of the Robins, Anna Barbauld 's Lessons for Children, and poetry by Jane Taylor
Education Florence Nightingale
Florence received a liberal education from her father.
Stephen, Sir Leslie, and Sidney Lee, editors. The Dictionary of National Biography. Smith, Elder, 1908.
She studied Latin, Greek, Italian, French, German, history, composition, and philosophy. Her reading materials included Sarah Trimmer 's New and Comprehensive Lessons, Containing a New and General...
Education Mary Prince
MP had no education beyond what she picked up for herself. She began learning to read and spell in the family she was hired out to as a child, where one of the daughters passed...
Education Elizabeth Gaskell
Until the age of eleven, Elizabeth was taught at home by her Aunt Hannah Lumb . As befitting the Unitarian emphasis on personal freedom and rationality, she read widely, and was encouraged to make her...
Family and Intimate relationships Elizabeth Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire
Eventually Lady Elizabeth's illegitimate children, so unceremoniously disposed of as babies, were brought back to England to be educated (by Selina , daughter of Sarah Trimmer ) together with Georgiana's cossetted offspring. The two Irish...
Family and Intimate relationships Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, hired as governess to her children Sarah Trimmer 's daughter Selina . As might have been expected, Selina felt her position required her (with the support of Georgiana's mother) to try...
Friends, Associates Mary Wollstonecraft
On her return to London MW sought out the publisher Joseph Johnson , of 72, St Paul's Churchyard, who became her patron, helper, and friend. He introduced her to Sarah Trimmer , Anna Letitia Barbauld
Friends, Associates Jane West
JW developed correspondences with Sarah Trimmer and Bishop Thomas Percy .
Stephen, Sir Leslie, and Sidney Lee, editors. The Dictionary of National Biography. Smith, Elder, 1908.
Intertextuality and Influence Elizabeth Moody
She has a sharp eye for gender issues, including those surrounding domestic work. The Housewife's Prayer is addressed to Economy, a name which might be loosely translated as balancing the budget, and ends with the...
Intertextuality and Influence Charlotte Yonge
Her vindication of unmarried women drawing intellectual and social authority from their relationship with the Church of England brings to mind Mary Astell . She appears to have learned from women writers like Sarah Trimmer
Intertextuality and Influence Julia O'Faolain
The topics covered in richly informative detail, far too many to enumerate, include a father's life-or-death rights over his offspring in ancient Greece, while such topics as buying and selling sex, or the relation...
Intertextuality and Influence Anna Letitia Barbauld
Taken together, ALB 's various writings for children during her career as educator at Palgrave School exerted enormous influence on other children's writers, such as Maria Edgeworth , Sarah Trimmer , Hannah More , and...
Intertextuality and Influence Anna Letitia Barbauld
The Critical Review gave high praise to each of the series. So did the Monthly, which also cracked her anonymity from the beginning.
Critical Review. W. Simpkin and R. Marshall.
46 (1778): 160; 47 (1779): 320
McCarthy, William. Anna Letitia Barbauld, Voice of the Enlightenment. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.
Vulnerable as a Dissenter,...


August 1715
Isaac Watts published DivineSongs Attempted in Easy Language for the Use of Children.
About 1765
Catharine Cappe opened one of the earliest recorded Sunday schools, at Catterick in Yorkshire.
Hannah Ball opened an early Methodist Sunday school at High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire.
2 August 1788
The painter Thomas Gainsborough died at the age of sixty-two; he was buried beside his friend Joshua Kirby (father of Sarah Trimmer ) in Kew churchyard.
6 November 1798
One John Way wrote an account of a poor widow in Hasketon near Ipswich in Suffolk and her—successful—struggle to maintain her family.
15 July 1819
Byron began to publish in instalments (opening with cantos one and two) his satiricalmock-epicpoemDon Juan; he left it unfinished at his death.
5 February 1836
The children's writerDorothy Kilner died at Stratford near London; she and her sister-in-law, Mary Ann Kilner (1753-1831), published their anonymous, undated works through John Marshall from the 1770s.