1878 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Caroline Norton

Mary Cowden Clarke, in Recollections of Writers (1878) 42.



To my thinking, two other women only, among those I have seen who were distinguished for personal beauty as well as for literary eminence, ever equalled in these respects Mary Shelley; one of them was the Honourable Mrs. Norton, the other the Countess of Blessington; but these two latter-named stars I never beheld in a familiar sphere, I merely beheld them in their box at the Opera, or at the Theatre. Mrs. Norton was the realization of what one might imagine a Muse of Poesy would look like, — dark-haired, dark-eyed, classic-browed, and delicate-featured in the extreme, with a bearing of mingled feminine grace and regal graciousness.