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

Beachy Head

ON thy stupendous summit, rock sublime !
That o'er the channel rear'd, half way at sea
The mariner at early morning hails,
I would recline; while Fancy should go forth,
And represent the strange and awful hour
Of vast concussion; when the Omnipotent
Stretch'd forth his arm, and rent the solid hills,
Bidding the impetuous main flood rush between

The rifted shores, and from the continent
Eternally divided this green isle.
Imperial lord of the high southern coast !
From thy projecting head-land I would mark
Far in the east the shades of night ...

Read the full of Beachy Head

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