Elizabeth Cooper (dramatist)

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Elizabeth Cooper
Born1698?
Died1761?
NationalityBritish subject
Known forcollecting poetry

Elizabeth Cooper or Elizabeth Price (1698? – 1761?) was an English actress, playwright, and editor. She is known for creating an early collection of poetry.

Life[edit]

Elizabeth Price is thought to have been born in the year 1698 or before. She was brought up in Westminster after her father died and her mother was left a pauper. On 25 February 1722 she married John Cooper, a Covent Garden auctioneer specialising in Art and books. After her husband died in 1729, she became an actress and later a playwright. When the theatrical business took a downturn, she turned her hand to other writing.[1]

Cooper created an anthology of poetry The Muses' Library (1737), which gathered together English verse from the 11th to the 16th century, covering Edward the Confessor to Samuel Daniel.[2] She achieved this by contacting the family of artists[1] and due to the goodwill of William Oldys.[3] Despite its readability and the inclusion of relevant biographies, the book was not a commercial success, and it failed to pay for a second volume by Cooper on poetic theory. The book however did make a mark, as the frauds created by Thomas Chatterton are thought to have drawn on Cooper's book and Samuel Johnson is said to have used Cooper's book as a model for his Lives of the Poets.[1]

Price was reported to have died in 1761, but another source says she was alive at a later date.[1]

Works[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Cooper, Elizabeth". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/6217. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Bronson, Bertrand H. (1950). "Chattertoniana". Modern Language Quarterly. 11 (4): 417–424. doi:10.1215/00267929-11-4-417.
  3. ^ a b Elizabeth Cooper, spenserians.cath.vt.edu, retrieved 11 November 2014

External links[edit]