Frances Sheridan

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Sheridan, Frances, wife of foregoing, was born in 1724. Her father, Dr. Philip Chamberlaine, was opposed to female education, and it was only by stealth that, principally with the help of her brothers, she obtained her knowledge of books. At the early age of fifteen she published, unknown to her father, Eugenia and Adelaide, a romance, in two volumes. She became acquainted with Sheridan through a pamphlet she wrote in his favour on the occasion of his theatrical difficulties with the Dublin public. Mrs. Sheridan is described as an accomplished and amiable woman: "Quite celestial: both her virtues and her genius were highly esteemed." Of her numerous works, Sidney Biddulph is the best known and most successful; part of it was dramatized. Johnson remarked to her upon passages therein: "I know not, madam, that you have a right upon moral principles to make your readers suffer so much." Fox thought it "the best novel of our age." Mrs. Sheridan died in September 1766, of a a lingering illness, at Blois, in France. "She appears to have been one of those rare women, who, united to men of more pretensions, but less real intellect than themselves, meekly conceal this superiority even from their own hearts, and pass their lives without a remonstrance or murmur, patiently endeavouring to repair those evils which the indiscretion or vanity of their partners has brought upon them."

Sources

307. Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, Memoirs: Thomas Moore. 2 vols. London, 1825.

16. Authors, Dictionary of British and American: S. Austin Allibone. 3 vols. Philadelphia, 1859-'71.

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

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