Lee, Harriet (1757–1851)

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Lee, Harriet (1757–1851)

English writer and novelist. Born in London, England, in 1757; died at Clifton, near Briston, England, on August 1, 1851; daughter of John Lee (d. 1781, an actor and theatrical manager); mother an actress whose name is unknown; sister of dramatist Sophia Lee (1750–1824).

Harriet Lee and her sister Sophia Lee were born in London. Their mother died at an early age, and, following their father's death in 1781, they moved to Bath. There, Sophia set up a girls' school with Harriet's help. In 1786, Harriet Lee published a novel written in the form of letters, The Errors of Innocence. Clara Lennox followed in 1797. Her chief work is the Canterbury Tales (1797–1805), a series of 12 stories which became quite popular. Lord Byron dramatized one of the tales, "Kruitzner," as Werner, or the Inheritance.