Elizabeth Ryves

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

« Richard Ryan | Index | Sir Amoric St. Lawrence »

Ryves, Elizabeth, an authoress, was born in Ireland about the middle of the 18th century. Deprived of her birth-right in Ireland "by the chicanery of the law," most of her life appears to have been passed in London. In 1777 she published a volume of poems; in a small book, The Hermit of Snowdon, she traced her own sorrows; for some time she conducted the historical department of the Annual Register; and she made several translations from the French, amongst the rest De la Croix's Review of the Constitutions, in two large volumes, with painstaking notes. One of her comedies, The Debt of Honour, was warmly approved at the time. Isaac Disraeli gives a touching account of her struggles to win an honourable livelihood: "Even in her poverty her native benevolence could make her generous; for she has deprived herself of her meal to provide with one an unhappy family dwelling under the same roof... The character of Eliza Ryves was rather tender and melancholy, than brilliant and gay; and, like the bruised perfume-breathing sweetness when broken into pieces... Not beautiful nor interesting in her person, but with a mind of fortitude, susceptible of all the delicacy of feminine softness, and virtuous amid her despair."[103a] She died in London, April 1797.

Sources

6. Annual Biography. London, 1817-'27.

41a. Biography, Hayden's Universal Index of, Edited by J. B. Payne. London, 1870.

103a. Disraeli, Isaac: Calamities and Quarrels of Authors. London, 1859. See also No. 66.

146. Gentleman's Magazine. London, 1731-1868.
Gilbert, John T., see Nos. 110, 335.

« Richard Ryan | Index | Sir Amoric St. Lawrence »