Mary Tighe

Tighe, Mary, the author of Psyche and of other poems, daughter of William Blachford, was born in Ireland on 9th October 1772. Highly connected, beautiful, and gifted, she was at an early age the centre of attraction in the Viceregal court of Dublin, and in 1793 married her cousin Henry Tighe, of Hosanna, in the County of Wicklow. The union was not happy. The publication of Psyche in 1795 established her reputation as a poet. This work has been characterized as "pure, polished, sublime — the outpouring of a trammelled soul yearning to be freed from its uncongenial surroundings." In a contemporary portrait "she is depicted with rich flowing, dark-brown hair, a few tendrils of which stray upon her smooth, intellectual forehead. The eyes are of a deep blue, large and pellucid; the lower part of the face is exquisitely formed,.. the general expression of the countenance is sweet, innocent, and lofty, but tinged with a look of inexpressible sadness." She was attacked with consumption, and, after wandering in search of health for some years, died at the residence of her brother-in-law, at Woodstock, in the County of Kilkenny, 24th March 1810, aged 37, and was buried in the churchyard of Inistioge, where a monument by Flaxman marks her grave.


196a. Irishwomen, Illustrious: E. Owens Blackburne. 2 vols. London, 1877.