Mary Russell Mitford (1787 - 1855)

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Death: Died
Managed by: June Barnes
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About Mary Russell Mitford

Mary Russell Mitford (16 December 1787 – 10 January 1855), was an English author and dramatist. She was born at Alresford, Hampshire. Her place in English literature is as the author of Our Village. This series of sketches of village scenes and vividly drawn characters was based upon life in Three Mile Cross, a hamlet in the parish of Shinfield, near Reading in Berkshire, where she lived.

She was the only daughter of Dr George Mitford, or Midford, who spent his mother's fortune in a few years. Then he spent the greater part of £20,000, which in 1797 Mary, then aged ten, drew as a prize in a lottery. The family lived in large properties in Reading and then Grazeley (in Sulhamstead Abbots parish), but, when the money was all gone, they lived on a small remnant of the doctor's lost fortune and the proceeds of his daughter's literary career. He is thought to have inspired Mary with the keen delight in incongruities, the lively sympathy, self-willed vigorous individuality, and the womanly tolerance which inspire so many of her sketches of character. She was devoted to him, refused all holiday invitations because he could not live without her, and worked incessantly for him except when she broke off to read him the sporting newspapers.

Later in life she moved from Three Mile Cross to Swallowfield, where she died on 10 January 1855 after being injured in a road accident. She is buried in the village.

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Mary Russell Mitford's Timeline

December 16, 1787
January 10, 1855
Age 67