Jewsbury, Maria Jane

(1800-1833)
   The daughter of a cotton merchant, she was born at Measham, on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border, and was educated at Shenstone, Staffordshire, but ill health forced her to leave school at fourteen. The family moved to Manchester and when Maria was 18, her mother died, leaving her to care for three brothers and six year old Geraldine, who later became a successful novelist. In 1832 she married William Kew Fletcher, a chaplain with the East India Company, with whom she sailed for Bombay (Mumbai). She died at Poonah (Pune) from cholera (see Lancashire Worthies, by Francis Espinasse, Abel Heywood and Son, 1874, for extracts from her journal of her voyage to and residence in India.) She dedicated to William Wordsworth Phantasmagoria, or Sketches of Life and Character (1825)-a collection of verse and prose. He in return addressed his poem "Liberty" to her in 1829. Much of her best writing appeared from 1830 to 1832 in the Athenæum. Some of her poems: "A Farewell to the Muse," "A Summer Eve's Vision," "My Heart's in the Kitchen, My Heart is Not Here," "Partings," "To a Young Brother," "To My Own Heart."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Selections from the Letters of Geraldine Endsor Jewsbury to Jane Welsh Carlyle, 1892 (http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/jewsbury/letters/gej.html). The National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk). 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 Oxford Book of Children's Verse. Iona Opie and Peter Opie, eds. Oxford University Press, 1973. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. Victorian Women Poets: An Antholog y. Angela Leighton and Margaret Reynolds, eds. Blackwell, 1991.

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

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