The daughter of a country gentleman, Charlotte Turner was educated at schools in Chichester and London. In 1765 she was married at fifteen to Benjamin Smith. His inheritance was tied up in a lawsuit and he left his wife to support twelve children by her writings. After publishing an often-reprinted collection of sonnets she turned to novels, at which she was equally successful. She endured debtor's prison with her husband (1783-84), followed him to Normandy, and separated from him in 1787. Charlotte Smith was patronized by William Hayley, and knew and was admired by many writers of the age.
Elegiac sonnets and other essays. 1784, 1786, 2 vols, 1789-97.
Prevost, Manon Lescaut [trans. Smith] 2 vols, 1785.
Pitaval, The romance of real life [trans. Smith]. 3 vols, 1787.
Emmeline, or the orphan of the castle: a novel. 4 vols, 1788.
Ethelinde: or the recluse of the lake. 5 vols, 1789.
Celestina: novel. 4 vols, 1791.
Desmond: a novel. 3 vols, 1792.
The emigrants: a poem. 1793.
The old manor house: a novel. 4 vols, 1793.
D'Arcy: a novel. 1793.
The wanderings of Warwick. 1794.
The banished man: a novel. 4 vols, 1794.
Rural walks, in dialogues for young persons. 2 vols, 1795.
Montalbert: a novel. 3 vols, 1795.
Rambles farther. 2 vols, 1796.
A narrative of the loss near Weymouth. 1796.
Marchmont: a novel. 4 vols, 1796.
Minor morals. 2 vols, 1798.
The young philosopher: a novel. 1798.
What is she? a comedy. 1799.
Letters of a solitary wanderer. 2 vols, 1799.
Conversations introducing poetry, for the use of children. 2 vols, 1804.
History of England in a series of letters to a young lady. 3 vols, 1806.
Beachy head, with other poems. 1807.
The natural history of birds. 2 vols, 1815.
Poems, ed. Stuart Curran. 1993.