Fanshawe, Catherine Maria

(1765-1834)
   Born in Chipstead, Surrey, Fanshawe was the daughter of a clerk in the household of George III. She seems to have suffered from some deformity, although it is not clear what. After the death of her parents she lived with her three sisters (all of whom predeceased her) at Richmond, Surrey, and became part of a circle of people interested in literature, art, and science. Though all were good artists, Catherine was the only one who wrote poetry. Sir Walter Scott thought her poetry beautiful, and several of her poems were published in Joanna Baillie's Collection of Poems (1823). Her poem "A Riddle on the Letter H" was long thought to have been by Byron (it was in at least two editions of his works). Some of her other poems: "Charade," "Enigma," "Fragment in Imitation of Wordsworth," "Liberty," "Memorials," "Speech of the Member for Odium," "The Country Cat Docketed by Miss Fanshawe," "Then Welcome Lawns, and Welcome Shades," "When Last We Parted."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www. lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Faber Book of Nonsense Verse. Geoffrey Grigson, ed. Faber and Faber, 1979. Love's Witness: Five Centuries of Love Poetry by Women. Jill Hollis, ed. Carroll and Graf, Inc., 1993. 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 Book of Comic Verse. John Gross, ed. Oxford University Press, 1994.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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