Frances Sheridan

(1145 words)
  • Conrad Brunstrom (University College Maynooth, National University Of Ireland)

Frances Sheridan was born Frances Chamberlain in Dublin in 1724. Her father, the Rev. Philip Chamberlain, an Anglican pluralist clergyman, regarded literacy as a worse than superfluous female accomplishment and forbade her to learn to read or write. This edict (which anticipated Anthony Absolute's similarly impotent judgement in The Rivals) had the pleasantly predictable result of inspiring her, with the connivance of her brothers, to become a voracious surreptitious reader and author. The earliest product of this passionate subterfuge was a two-volume romance Eugenia and Adelaide, first published some years after her death in 1791. It was to be the encouraging response of the elderly Samuel Richardson to this manuscript, t…

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Brunstrom, Conrad. "Frances Sheridan". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 November 2001
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]