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Corvey ‘Adopt an Author’ |
Elisabeth Pinchard
The Corvey Project at
Sheffield Hallam University

Elisabeth Pinchard: A Brief Biography

Christina Giova

The little information available on Mrs Pinchard creates only a vague idea of who this 'lost' author really was. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English (1990) reports her to have been married to the lawyer John, P., settled at Taunton in Somerset, 1794, and to have had five children. The fact that she was married to a Taunton attorney suggests that Mrs Pinchard came from a middle-class background (Turner, 1994, p65).

Mrs Pinchard was a novelist and a children's writer. Her writings are heavily didactic, especially when addressing the young. One of her first works, written in her early youth, was The Blind Child: or Anecdotes of the Wyndham Family (Blain, 1990, p856). This was a heavily didactic work, however, and was listed, in more recent years, as an example of the writings of the 'Monstrous Regiment', a group of eighteenth century writers that seemed to neglect the need for entertainment in their books for children (Quayle, 1971, p33). Mrs Pinchard's novels, on the other hand, are better handled. The Ward of Delamere, for example, can serve today as a fine example of the Gothic Romance.

According to Turner, Mrs Pinchard may not have been writing as a response to financial hardships, as there is no evidence of payment available in her case (Turner, 1994, p61).

Research did not provide any further information on Mrs Pinchard. We know, however, that she was a prolific writer who enjoyed much success, judging from the considerable number of republications of some of her books, like The Blind Child. (The copy held in the Corvey Collection is the tenth edition).