1769 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Elizabeth Elstob

James Granger, in Biographical History of England (1769; 1824) 6:166.



Elizabeth Elstob was born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1683. Her mother, who was a great admirer of learning, especially in her own sex, observed the particular fondness which her daughter had for books, and omitted nothing that might tend to her improvement; but having the misfortune to lose this indulgent parent, when about eight years of age, she was left to the care of a guardian, who imagined "one tongue was enough for any woman." With some difficulty, however, she obtained leave to learn French; and in time, by incessant study, became an excellent linguist, being not only mistress of her own and the Latin, but also of seven other languages.

Mrs. Elstob translated from the French, Madame Scudery's Essay on Glory. — In 1713, then published Some Testimonies of learned Men, in favour of an intended edition of the Saxon Homilies. A few of these homilies were printed at Oxford, in folio; but she did not find encouragement to go on with the work. In 1715 when published a Saxon Grammar; but on the death of her brother she was reduced to poverty, and kept a school at Evesham. Queen Caroline gave her a pension, which ceased at the death of her majesty. After this she was taken into the family of the Dutchess of Portland as a governess. She died of a cancer in 1756.