Sarah Fyge (1670 - 1723 / England)
Biography of Sarah Fyge
Sarah Fyge, English poet,writer, and feminist, born in Winslow, Buckinghamshire, 1670. Fyge was one of six daughters, her father Thomas Fyge, an apothecary and physician, and her mother, Mary Beecham Fyge.
Fyge, a feminist from a young age, began writing from the age of fourteen. Where her first work entitled "The Female Advocate" was published without her consent, in 1686, a piece which argued that women were superior to men and an in response to Robert Gould’s “A Love Given O’er” Or, “A Late Satyr Against the Pride, Lust and Inconstancy, etc. of Women”. This lead to her banishment from her parents home to relatives. Undaunted, Fyge revised the piece and had the second, expanded edition reprinted, in 1687.
Shortly thereafter, Fyge married against her will, a London Attorney, Edward Field, (from whom she may have obtained her knowledge of law). Fyge, after a short time was left a widow due to the death of Field sometime prior to 1700, though she was left childless she was left well off. Her poems later speak of the growing love for her late husband and her grief at her loss. Her second volume of work, entitled “Poems on Several Occasions” published in 1703.
In 1700, Fyge married for a second time, to her second cousin the much older Reverend Thomas Egerton, Rector of Ad stock, whom was also a widower, with grown children of his previous marriage. This marriage appears to be of an unhappy one for not more that three years later amid mutual recriminations (Fyge accused of adultery, which she counter sued on grounds of cruelty), they both sued for divorce. The divorce was denied and the couple remained married til the death of Thomas Egerton, in 1720.
Fyge, followed her late second husband to the grave some three years later; she died in her birthplace in Winslow, Buckinghamshire, England, in 1723.
Throughout her lifetime, Fyge continued to write feminist tracts and poetry.
Say, Tyrant Custom, why must we obey
The impositions of thy haughty Sway;
From the first dawn of Life, unto the Grave,
Poor Womankind's in every State, a Slave.
The Nurse, the Mistress, Parent and the Swain,
For Love she must, there's none escape that Pain;
Then comes the last, the fatal Slavery,
The Husband with insulting Tyranny
Can have ill Manners justify'd by Law;