Cary, Elizabeth, Viscountess Falkland
- (circa. 1585-1639)Born in Oxfordshire, the daughter of Sir Lawrence Tanfield, lord chief baron of the exchequer, she married Sir Henry Cary, lord deputy of Ireland (created first viscount Falkland in 1620) when she was fifteen. She taught herself French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, and Hebrew. She converted to the Catholic faith at the age of nineteen, but kept it secret for twenty years. When she declared her faith, this caused a rift between her and her husband, and they were given a Privy Council separation around 1625. She wrote the verse drama The Tragedie of Mariam (1613), the first known play in English by a woman. Possibly autobiographical, it is the story of a dictatorial husband and a non-compliant wife, a theme that is echoed in her poems. Some of her other poems: "Chorus," "To My Noble Friend, Mr. George Sandys," "To the Author," "To the Queenes Most Excellent Majestie."Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition, 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Early Modern Women Poets (1520-1700). Jane Stevenson and Peter Davidson, ed. Oxford University Press, 2001. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk). The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.
British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. William Stewart. 2015.
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