Cowley, Hannah

(1743-1809)
   Born in Tiverton, Devonshire, the daughter of Philip Parkhouse, a bookseller, she married a captain in the East India Company's service. Challenged by her husband to write a better play than the one they had just seen, she produced The Runaway, performed at Drury Lane in 1776. She experienced great anxiety about the performances of her plays, and this involved her in newspaper warfare with Hannah More, whom she taxed with plagiarism. She also quarreled with the managers of Drury Lane and Covent Garden by alleging that they had misused her manuscripts. Some of her main publications: Albina, Countess Raimond, 1779 (tragedy). The Belle's Stratagem, 1780 (comedy). The Maid of Arragon, 1780 (two volumes, poetry). Which Is the Man? 1782 (comedy). A Bold Stroke for a Husband, 1783 (comedy). The Scottish Village, or Pitcairn Green, 1787 (poetry). A Day in Turkey, or the Russian Slaves, 1792 (comedy). The Town Before You, 1795 (comedy). The Siege of Acre, 1799 (four volumes). Some of her other poems: "A Charity Hymn," "Elegy on a Field of Battle," "The Death of Chatterton," "The Lame Youth."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition, 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Eighteenth Century Women Poets: An Oxford Antholog y. Roger Lonsdale, ed. Oxford University Press, 1989. 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. . 2015.

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