Thursday, July 11, 2013

Elizabeth Carter 1717 - 1806

Father was Nicholas Carter
Mother was Margaret, only daughter .and heiress of Richard Swayne *, Esq. by a daughter of Thomas Trenchard, of Wolverton, and Lychet Maltravers, Esq.

With Margaret dad had Elizabeth, John Carter who left three daughters, and Margaret who married Thomas Pennington and left Thomas (Rector of x) and Montagu. Also Nicholas and James who both died early.
With  Mary he had Mary, married to Andrew Douglas, and Henry  (Rector of x)

Chronology (some from EB 1911):
    1734 first publication - verses by 'Eliza' in the Gentleman's Magazine
    1738-39 in London w Birch and Johnson
    1738 Poems upon Particular Occasions
    1739 translation of Crousaz's An Examination of Mr. Pope's Essay on Man
    1739 translation of Algarotti's Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy explained for the use of the Ladies, in six Dialogues on Light and Colour
     1739 - in June - Carter supposedly leaves London abrubtly ... (Hawley? Ruhe?)
     1741 First meeting / letters w Miss Talbot
     1747 ‘Ode to Wisdom’ in Gentleman's Magazine, corrected version after Richardson's theft
     1750 Rambler 44
     1751 Rambler 100    

     1753?   Remarks on the Athanasian Creed; on a sermon preached at the parish church of Deal, October 15, 1752; and on a pamphlet, lately published, with the title, "Some short and plain arguments, from scripture, evidently proving the divinity of Our Saviour." In a letter to the Rev. Mr. Randolph, Rector of Deal.
     1757 (1751)  book 1, ode 15, of  Duncombe's The Works of Horace in Several Hands.
     1758 Epictetus (work started in 1749)
     1762 Poems on Several Occasions
     1763 Goes to Spa with Montagu
     1776 Poems on Several Occasions (3rd edition w. six new poems, says Hawley)
     1780 Fanny Burney writes about meeting Carter the first time
     1796 - Count de Bedee translates/publishes "Twelve Poems translated into French: ..."
     1807 Memoirs

Talbot did #30, Richardson #97 (the best seller), Hester Mulso Chapone did four letters for #10, Garrick did some of #15 and Joseph Simpson did part of #107>

(1717-1806), English poet and translator, daughter of the Rev. Nicholas Carter, was born at Deal, in Kent, on the 16th of December 1717. Dr Carter educated his children, boys and girls, alike; but Elizabeth's slowness tired his patience, and it was only by great perseverance that she conquered her natural incapacity for learning. She studied late at night and early in the morning, taking snuff and chewing green tea to keep herself awake; thus causing severe injury to her health. She learned Greek and Latin, and Dr Johnson said concerning a celebrated scholar that he “understood Greek better than any one whom he had ever known except Elizabeth Carter.” She learned also Hebrew, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and lastly some Arabic. She studied astronomy, ancient geography, and ancient and modern history.
Edward Cave was a friend of Dr Carter, and in 1734 some of Elizabeth's verses, signed “Eliza,” appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine, to which she contributed for many years. In 1738 Cave published her Poems upon Particular Occasions; in 1739 she translated from the French an attack on Pope's Essay on Man by J. P. de Crousaz; and in the same year appeared her translation from the Italian of Algarotti's Newtonianismo per le Dame, under the title of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy explained for the use of the Ladies, in six Dialogues on Light and Colour.
Why did she move back home???
Her translation of Epictetus (1758) was undertaken in 1749 to please her friends, Thomas Seeker (afterwards archbishop of Canterbury) and his niece, Catherine Talbot, to whom the translation was sent, sheet by sheet, as it was done. In 1762 Miss Carter printed a second collection of Poems on Several Occasions. Her letters to Miss Talbot contain an account of a tour on the continent undertaken in 1763 in company with Edward and Elizabeth Montagu and William Pulteney, 1st earl of Bath. Dr Carter, from 1762 to his death in 1774, lived with his daughter in a house at Deal, which she had purchased. An annuity was settled on her by Sir William Pulteney and his wife, who had inherited Lord Bath's fortune; and she had another annuity from Mrs Montagu. Among Miss Carter's friends and correspondents were Samuel Johnson, Bishop Butler, Richard Savage, Horace Walpole, Samuel Richardson, Edmund Burke, Hannah More, and Elizabeth Vesey, who was a leader of literary society. She died in Clarges Street, Piccadilly, on the 19th of February 1806.
Her Memoirs were published in 1807; her correspondence with Miss Talbot and Mrs Vesey in 1809; and her letters to Mrs Montagu in 1817. See also A Woman of Wit and Wisdom (1906), a biography by Alice C. C. Gaussen.

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Educated by her father - WITH siblings male and female - she was sent to Canterbury for a year to learn French in the house of a Huguenot refugee - "she also learned the common branches of needle-work, which she practiced to the very last; and music, in which, though very fond of it, she never seems to have made any considerable progress" (Pennington 12). Apparently it was difficult for her to learn at first, enough that dad suggested she stop, but she kept on (Pennington 11). "She rose early, and, to keep her attention from flagging at night, she took snuff, bound wet towels round her head and chewed green tea and coffee" (find source). She is sent to London to stay with friends and one or two uncles and "generally passed great part of the winter" there (Pennington 13)
Later in life she learned Portuguese ... Arabick, astronomy, ancient geography ... and Religion (Pennington 16-17)

What do we know about Nicholas Carter, "perpetual curate of a chapel at Deal, and one of the six preachers at Canterbury"According to Montagu Pennington he was a "graduate of Emanuel College in Cambridge and was considered a serious scholarin the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages. Later in his life, he became Rector of Woodchurch and of Ham as well as one of the six preachers in the Cathedral Church of Canterbury. His tracts of controversial divinity and a volume of his sermons demonstrate his deep knowledge of the Scriptures"
Father's poem on court life - 15

From father to Eliza 
“I must do you the justice to say, that I think you are an exception. I am extremely unwilling to cross your inclination in any thing, because your behavior to me is more than unexeptionable. I leave you, therefore, to act agreeably to your own judgement. My exceeding fondness of you must necessarily make me anxious and fearful; but it does not prevent me from being convinced that I may safely leave a great deal to your own judgment” (Pennington 26)
and in October 1729, when Elizabeth was only twelve years old, Dr. Carter wrote to her from Bath :
"And I must do you ye Justice to say, yt. Your Manner of writing is praise-worthy I cd. not forbear showing your Letter to Sr. George, who commended it extremely. One of your Age cd. spel so exactly & choose such proper Expressions". (qtd. in Hampshire 17) 
Pennington 28 has a footnote where a Mr. Pearse, according to Eliza's sister, in response to a question about whether she was married, responded "no, nor never will, only to God." 
Pennington 29 refers to a letter where Dr, Carter says: "If you intend never to marry, as I think you plainly, intimate in one of your letters, then you certainly ought to live retired, and not appear in the world with an expense which is reasonable upon the prospect of getting a husband, but not otherwise." 

Pennington 32 has daddy's advice on Eliza poem by someone else in the Almanack - to clarify author

Dr. Carter’s letters to Elizabeth Carter, written through the years from 8 October 1729 to 26, May 1761, are in a private collection (Hampshire 17)
Dr. Carter Seventeen Sermons on the Following Subjects (1738 - ECCO has Birch's copy)

Siblings: a) wife one (Margaret) - Nicolas, James, Elizabeth, John, Margaret,
                b) wife two - Mary and Henry
Sister Margaret was also well educated "being a very good Latin and French, and tolerable Greek and Italian scholar, with some knowledge also in Hebrew" (Pennington 10)
Mom (who had money that got lost in the South Sea bubble) dies when Eliza is 10.

Catherine Talbot (1721-1770) lived with mom and "uncle" Thomas Secker who became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1758 and then died in 1768. Catherine herself died of cancer in 1770 and her mom then gave to Carter a volume that the latter published at her own expense Reflections on the Seven Days of the Week and two years later Essays on Various Subjects. According Pennington in the preface to their correspondence she was taught religion, as well as those languages which are generally a part of female education (French and Italian), and science - astronomy, geography. She knew some Latin and taught herself German (page x). Pennington explains that she was not ugly or stupid, so that was not the reason she was single. Pennington explains that Carter did tell him to use his good judgment to decide what to do with the letters, and they were so well organized and there was nothing bad in them, he thinks they are ok to publish. Indeed, if the "if the purest morality recommended on the best principles; if the vital spirit of Christian Piety, breathed in language always persuasive, and often elegant, can engage the public attentions; then may it be hoped ... that these letters will not have been written in vain. They will at any rate serve as an additional proof, of which happily there are many living examples, that cheerfulness and gaiety are not inconsistent with the strictest virtue, nor the most exemplary piety, with the manners and society of high life" (page xxi).

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Agorni, Mirella. "The Voice of the Translatress: From Aphra Behn to Elizabeth Carter". The Yearbook of English Studies, Vol. 28, Eighteenth-Century Lexis and Lexicography (1998), pp. 181-195

Apetrei, Sarah. Women, Feminism and Religion in Early Enlightenment England, Cambridge University Press (2010)

Bach, Rebecca Ann and Gwynne Kennedy. Feminisms and early modern texts : essays for Phyllis Rackin. Selinsgrove, Pa. : Susquehanna University Press, 2010.

Betham-Edwards, Mathilda. Six life studies of famous women. London : Griffith and Farran ; New York : Dutton, 1880. [Gerritsen collection online].

Clarke, Norma. Dr. Johnson's Women. London ; New York : Hambledon and London, 2000.

Crawford, Patricia. Women and Religion in England 1500-1720. Routledge, 1996.

Dorr, Priscilla.  "Elizabeth Carter". Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Spring, 1986), pp. 138-140.

Easton, Celia. “Were the Bluestockings Queer?” The Age of Johnson, Vol. 9, (1998) pp. 257-294.

Eger, Elizabeth. Bluestockings : women of reason from enlightenment to romanticism. Palgrave, 2010.

Elwood, Anne Katharine Curteis.. Memoirs of the literary ladies of England, from the commencement of the last century. London : H. Colburn, 1843. [Gerritsen collection online].

Freeman, Lisa. "A Dialogue: Elizabeth Carter's Passion for the Female Mind" in Women's Poetry in the Enlightenment: The Making of a Canon, 1730-1820. 1999.

Guest, Harriet. "Bluestocking Feminism". Huntington Library Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 1/2, Reconsidering the Bluestockings (2002), pp. 59-80
Guest, Harriet. Small Change: Women, Learning, Patriotism, 1750-1810. 2002.

Hampshire, Gwen. Elizabeth Carter, 1717-1806: An Edition of Some Unpublished Letters. 2005

Hans, Nicholas. Trends in Education in the Eighteenth Century. Routledge, 1998.

Jeynes, William.  International Handbook of Protestant Education. ‎David W. Robinson, 2012.

Kelly, Gary. ed. Bluestocking feminism : writings of the Bluestocking circle, 1738 - 1785, volume II

Mendelson, Sara and Patricia Crawford. Women in Early Modern England. Oxford UP, 1998.

Meyer, Gerald Dennis.  The Scientific Lady in England 1650-1760. UC Press, 1955.

Miegon, Anna. "Biographical Sketches of Principal Bluestocking Women." Huntington Library Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 1/2, Reconsidering the Bluestockings (2002), pp. 25-37

Myers,  Sylvia Harcstark. The Bluestocking Circle: Women, Friendship, and the Life of the Mind in Eighteenth-Century England.1990.

O'Brien, Karen. Women and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Cambridge UP, 2009.

Ruhe, Edward. "Birch, Johnson, and Elizabeth Carter: An Episode of 1738-39." PMLA, 73 (1958)

Thomas, Claudia."Samuel Johnson and Elizabeth Carter: Pudding, Epictetus, and the Accomplished Woman." South Central Review, Vol. 9, No. 4, Johnson and Gender (Winter, 1992), pp. 18-30

Wallace, Jennifer. "Confined and Exposed: Elizabeth Carter's Classical Translations". Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Autumn, 2003), pp. 315-334.

Williams, Carolyn. "Poetry, Pudding, and Epictetus: The Consistency of Elizabeth Carter" in Tradition in Transition: Women Writers, Marginal Texts, and Eighteenth-Century Canon. 1996

Uphaus, Robert and Gretchen M. Foster. The 'Other' Eighteenth Century: English Women of Letters 1660-1800.

Madam Britannia: Women, Church, and Nation 1712-1812
by Emma Major

Women and Religion in England 1500-1720
by Patricia Crawford, Routledge, 1996

Trends in Education in the Eighteenth Century,
 By Nicholas Hans, Routledge, 1998

 International Handbook of Protestant Education,  
by William Jeynes, ‎David W. Robinson 2012 

Women and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century Britain
by Karen O'Brien, Cambridge UP, 2009

Dissertation on the Legacy of Carter:

This webpage has correspondence TO Elizabeth Montagu from Elizabeth Carter:

About Mary Hamilton's diary: 

"Aside from the domestic sphere, the letters she received from other noted 'bluestockings', such as Elizabeth Carter and Elizabeth Montagu, are valuable for the sense they give of the cultivated salon society she enjoyed. Of Carter, Hamilton wrote: 'She is, I imagine, the most learned female who ever lived' - although a frank, gossipy letter from Francis Lord Napier, her guardian's son, gives a rather more irreverent view. 'She was a fine old Slut,' he writes to Hamilton, 'though bearing not the least resemblance to a Woman. She had more the appearance of a fat Priest of the Church of Rome than an English Gentlewoman.' "

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