Eliza Fletcher's Autobiography is a great illuminator of herself, her contemporaries and her period. She was born Eliza Dawson at Oxton, near Tadcaster in Yorkshire, on 15 January 1770. Her mother died shortly after Eliza's birth, yet in spite of this her childhood and youth, during which she was cared for by her father and his mother, were very happy. In 1787 the Dawsons were visited by a school friend of Eliza's with her husband, Mr Melies. Melies was on his way from Perth to London to give evidence before the Commons' Committee on Burgh Reform and was accompanied by Archibald Fletcher, an Edinburgh lawyer, known for his liberal opinions and idealism. The Dawsons were Whigs and Eliza's background was, therefore, such as to …
McMillan, Dorothy. "Eliza Fletcher". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 October 2003; last revised 30 November -1.
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