Thursday, 23 January 2014

Elizabeth Wordsworth (1840 - 1932)

Elizabeth was born in 1840 in Harrow where her father, Christopher Wordsworth, Bishop of Lincoln was headmaster of Harrow School.   Her great uncle was the poet William Wordsworth.

Educated at home, Elizabeth was encouraged in her studies by her parents and studied the classics and modern languages and began writing poetry at an early age, sending articles and poems to the children’s magazine “Monthly Packet”.   She founded Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford for female undergraduates.

After inheriting some money from her father, Elizabeth founded St. Hugh’s Hall in his memory.  This was initially a college for women undergraduates who were unable to afford expensive tuition fees and was built on Northam Gardens in North Oxford.  This later became St. Hugh’s College. 

As well as poetry, Elizabeth wrote plays, biographies and religious articles.  She also wrote and lectured about the importance of the education of women.
She wrote two novels under the pen name of Grant Lloyd.

Elizabeth continued writing, entertaining students, lecturing reading and exercising until her death in 1932.

Source:  Poetry Foundation

Portrait of Elizabeth by james Jebusa Shannon – Google Images