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Lennox, Charlotte

LENNOX, CHARLOTTE (1720-1804), British writer, daughter of Colonel James Ramsay, lieutenant-governor of New York, was born in 1720. She went to London in 1735, and, being left unprovided for at her father's death, she began to earn her living by writing. She made some unsuccessful appearances on the stage and married in 1748. Samuel Johnson had an exaggerated admiration for her. " Three such women," he said, speaking of Elizabeth Carter, Hannah More and Fanny Burney, " are not to be found; I know not where to find a fourth, except Mrs Lennox, who is superior to them all." Her chief works are: The Female Quixote; or the Adventures of Arabella (1752), a novel; Shakespear illustrated; or the novels and histories on which the plays . . . are founded (1753-1754), in which she argued that Shakespeare had spoiled the stories he borrowed for his plots by interpolating unnecessary intrigues and incidents; The Life of Harriot Stuart (1751), a novel; and The Sister, a comedy produced at Covent Garden (18th February 1769). This last was withdrawn after the first night, after a stormy reception, due, said Goldsmith, to the fact that its author had abused Shakespeare.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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