Susanna Centlivre, daughter of William and Anne Freeman, was born in 1669 in Lincolnshire, probably at Holbeach. In November, a Susanna Freeman was baptized in the parish church of Whaplode. In spite of her being the most successful female playwright of the eighteenth century, playing well almost into the twentieth, very little is known of Centlivre's early life. Her youth is marked by a series of romantic adventures probably invented by later anecdotists, but apparently well suiting her personality and the established facts of the following years.

Information about her life is mainly based on three principal sources: a biography written by Giles Jacob for the Poetical Register in 1719 when Centlivre was still alive; the article attributed to John Mottley in A Complete List of All the

1935 words

Citation: Carraro, Laura Favero. "Susannah Centlivre". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2001 [, accessed 29 February 2024.]

805 Susannah Centlivre 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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