1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Elizabeth Ryves

Stephen Jones, in Biographia Dramatica; or, A Companion to the Playhouse (1812) 1:619.



ELIZABETH RYVES, was the author of three dramatic pieces, viz.

1. The Prude. C. O. 8vo. 1777.

2. The Triumph of Hymen. M. 8vo. 1777.

3. The Debt of Honour. Com. N. P.

This lady, who possessed great literary talents, died of disappointment and neglect, at her lodgings in Store Street, in April 1797. She is supposed to have been the author of The Hermit of Snowdon. Her poetical compositions are distinguished by vigour, taste, and even an air of originality. She was well acquainted with Italian and French literature, and had made no small progress in the classics. She translated from the French, Rousseau's Treatise on the Social Compact, and many other works of acknowledged merit, and was thought by many to have been employed several years in conducting the historical department of Dodsley's Annual Register; but we believe that was not the case. A writer in The Gentleman's Magazine has said of her, "A woman more benevolent God never created. When her affairs were in a most poetical posture (as indeed they often were, for she managed them but inconsiderately), and she lodged in an obscure part of the city, she would spend her last shillings, herself unprovided with a dinner, in the purchase of a joint of meat for a starving family that occupied the floor above her;" yet, it seems, she herself was forsaken on her death-bed!