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Mary Russell Mitford
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    (December 16, 1787-January 10, 1855)
    Born in Alresford, England, United Kingdom
    Short story writer, poet and dramatist
    Best known for her collection of sketches ‘Our Village’ (5 volumes, 1824-32)
    Poetry collections include ‘Christina, the Maid of the South Seas’ (1811) and ‘Narrative Poems on the Female Character’ (1813)
    Wrote the plays ‘Julian: A Tragedy’ (1823), ‘Renzi: A Tragedy’ (1828) and ‘Charles the First: An Historical Tragedy’ (1834)
    Died of complications following a carriage accident
    She turned down all holiday invitations to stay with her father.
    She was described as having 'the habit of flattery, and the twin habit of disparagement of others.'
    She famously described Jane Austen as 'the prettiest, silliest, most affected, husband-hunting butterfly.'
    She wanted to be remembered as a poet and took up prose only out of financial necessity.
    Her father blew her mother's fortune on gambling and extravagances, then spent most of the £20,000 that Mary won in a lottery at age ten.
    She financially supported her father for the rest of his life, and kept house for him, nursed him and read the sporting news to him.
    She was friends with Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
    Her 'Our Village' sketches were praised for their unaffected humor.

Credit: C. Fishel

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