Charlotte Smith

(4 May 1749 – 28 October 1806 / London)

Charlotte Smith
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Charlotte Turner Smith was an English Romantic poet and novelist. She initiated a revival of the English sonnet, helped establish the conventions of Gothic fiction, and wrote political novels of sensibility.

Smith was born into a wealthy family and received a typical education for a woman during the late 18th century. However, her father's reckless spending forced her to marry early. In a marriage that she later described as prostitution, she was given by her father to the violent and profligate Benjamin Smith. Their marriage was deeply unhappy, although they had twelve children together. Charlotte joined Benjamin in debtor's prison, where she wrote her first book of poetry, ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''I knew I had to do it. It was an order from the coach.''
    Charlotte Smith (b. 1974), U.S. college basketball player. As quoted in the New York Times, p. C7 (April 3, 1994). On shooting a three-point baske...
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Comments about Charlotte Smith

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  • Peter Bolton (2/25/2014 2:09:00 PM)

    Maybe one was also always writing verse as a child and sneakily submitting some of it to magazines but not many of us were forcibly married at 15. I also love her novels.

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Best Poem of Charlotte Smith

Sonnet Iii: To A Nightingale

Poor melancholy bird---that all night long
Tell'st to the Moon, thy tale of tender woe;
From what sad cause can such sweet sorrow flow,
And whence this mournful melody of song?

Thy poet's musing fancy would translate
What mean the sounds that swell thy little breast,
When still at dewy eve thou leav'st thy nest,
Thus to the listening night to sing thy fate!

Pale Sorrow's victims wert thou once among,
Tho' now releas'd in woodlands wild to rove?
Say---hast thou felt from friends some cruel wrong,
Or diedst thou---martyr of disastrous love?
Ah! ...

Read the full of Sonnet Iii: To A Nightingale

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