Elizabeth Thomas (poet/novelist)

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Elizabeth Thomas [née Wolferstan] (1770/71–1855), novelist and poet, is an ambiguous figure. Details of her early life are missing, and her authorship of some works attributed to her is contested.

She was born in Devon to Mary (d. 1818) and Edward Wolferstan (d. 1788). In or around 1795 she married the Reverend Thomas Thomas (d. 16 December 1838[1]), vicar of Tidenham, Gloucestershire since 1801.[1] She died of bronchitis at the age of 84 in Devon.

Her religious verse received mixed reviews, as did her novel, Purity of Heart, "a virulent, polemical novel addressed to the anonymous author of Glenarvon, the 1816 succès de scandale," presumed to be Lady Caroline Lamb.[2] She has also been identified as "Mrs Bridget Bluemantle", author of nine Minerva Press novels from 1806 to 1818,[3] though this identification remains problematic.[4] She also used the pseudonym of "Mrs Martha Homely".[5]

Works[edit]

  • Maids as They Are Not, and Wives as They Are (as "Mrs Martha Homely," 4 vols., London: Printed by J. D. Dewick, Aldersgate-Street, for W. Earle, jun. 43, Wigmore-Street, 1803)
  • The Three Old Maids of the House of Penruddock (as "Mrs Bridget Bluemantle", 3 vols., London: Printed at the Minerva Press, for Lane, Newman, and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1806. NB. The introduction (vol. 1, pp. 1–2) is signed "Martha Homely". 1806)
  • The Husband and Wife, or, The Matrimonial Martyr (as "Mrs Bridget Bluemantle", 3 vols., London: Printed at the Minerva Press, for Lane, Newman, and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1808)
  • Monte Video; or, The Officer's Wife and Her Sister (as "Mrs Bridget Bluemantle", 4 vols., London: Printed at the Minerva Press, for A. K. Newman, and Co. (successors to Lane, Newman, & Co.) Leadenhall-Street, 1809)
  • Mortimer Hall, or, The Labourer's Hire (as "Mrs Bridget Bluemantle", 4 vols., London: Printed at the Minerva Press, for A. K. Newman and Co. (Successors to Lane, Newman, & Co.) Leadenhall-Street, 1811)
  • The Vindictive Spirit (as "Mrs Bridget Bluemantle", 4 vols., London: Printed at the Minerva Press, for A. K. Newman and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1812)
  • The Prison-House, or, The World We Live In (as "Mrs Bridget Bluemantle", 4 vols., London: Printed at the Minerva Press, for A. K. Newman and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1814)
  • The Baron of Falconberg, or Childe Harolde in Prose (as "Mrs Bridget Bluemantle", 3 vols., London: Printed at the Minerva Press, for A. K. Newman and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1815)
  • Purity of Heart; Or, The Ancient Costume: A Tale, in One Volume, Addressed to the Author of Glenarvon[6][7][8] (as "An old wife of twenty years",[9] London: Printed for W. Simpkin and R. Marshall, Stationers'-Court, Ludgate-Street, 1816)
  • Claudine, or Pertinacity (as "Mrs Bridget Bluemantle", 3 vols., London: Printed at the Minerva Press for A. K. Newman and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1817)
  • The Confession, or, The Novice of St Clare, and other Poems (pub. anon., 1818)
  • The Georgian; Or, the Moor of Tripoli, and Other Poems (1847)[10][11]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b [1], The Gentleman's Magazine, Volume 11 - Clergy Deceased
  2. ^ Deirdre Coleman, “Thomas, Elizabeth (1770/71–1855).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. 13 May 2007.
  3. ^ Virginia Blain et al., The Feminist Companion to Literature in English (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1990. 1076).
  4. ^ Coleman
  5. ^ British Fiction, 1800-1829
  6. ^ http://books.google.com/books/about/Purity_of_Heart_Or_The_Ancient_Costume.html?id=BU44twAACAAJ
  7. ^ http://books.google.com/books/about/Purity_of_Heart_Or_The_Ancient_Costume.html?id=PiU_AwEACAAJ
  8. ^ http://books.google.com/books/about/Purity_of_Heart_Or_The_Ancient_Costume.html?id=Bsa_YgEACAAJ
  9. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=gCgGAAAAQAAJ&source=gbs_similarbooks
  10. ^ http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Georgian.html?id=H7JXPgAACAAJ
  11. ^ http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Georgian_Or_the_Moor_of_Tripoli.html?id=QlaTQwAACAAJ

Resources[edit]