1855 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lady Mary Chudleigh

Sarah Josepha Hale, Woman's Record; or, Sketches of all Distinguished Women (1852; 1855) 262.



LADY MARY CHUDLEIGH was born in 1656, and was the daughter of Richard Lee, Esq., of Winslade in Devonshire, England. She married Sir George Chudleigh, bart., by whom she had several children; among the rest Eliza Maria, who dying in the bloom of life, her mother poured out her grief in a poem, called "A Dialogue between Lucinda and Marissa." She wrote another poem called "The Ladies' Defence," occasioned by a sermon preached against women. These, with many others, were collected into a volume and printed, for the third time, in 1722. She published a volume of essays, in prose and verse, in 1710, which have been much admired for a delicacy of style.

This lady is said to have written several tragedies, operas, masques, &c. which were not printed. She died in 1710, in her 55th year. She was a woman of great virtue as well as understanding, and made the latter subservient to the former. She was only taught her native language, but her great application and uncommon abilities, enable her to figure among the literati of her time. She wrote essays upon knowledge, pride, humility, life, death, fear, grief, riches, self-love, justice, anger, calumny, friendship, love, avarice, and solitude, in which she showed an uncommon degree of knowledge and piety.