Stuart-Wortley, Emmeline (1806–1855)

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Stuart-Wortley, Emmeline (1806–1855)

English poet and travel writer. Born Emmeline Charlotte Elizabeth Manners on May 2, 1806; died in Beirut in November 1855; second daughter of John Henry Manners, 5th duke of Rutland, and Lady Elizabeth Howard (d. 1825, daughter of Frederick Howard, 5th earl of Carlisle, and Margaret Leveson ); sister of Lord John Manners; married the Honourable Charles Stuart-Wortley, in 1831; children: three.

Selected writings:

Poems (1833); Travelling Sketches in Rhyme (1835); Impressions of Italy (1837); Sonnets (1839).

Born Emmeline Manners in 1806, Emmeline Stuart-Wortley inherited a prestigious family name as the second daughter of John Henry Manners, 5th duke of Rutland, and Lady Elizabeth Howard , daughter of the earl of Carlisle. Her brother, Lord John Manners (1818–1906), established a name for himself as a leader of the "Young England" movement surrounding the powerful English politician Benjamin Disraeli. Emmeline's chosen profession as a poet and travel writer followed her father's interest in writing, as he had published several volumes of his impressions of his journeys.

Emmeline did not begin writing poetry until after her marriage to the Honourable Charles Stuart-Wortley, in 1831. Much of her poetry first appeared in Blackwood's Magazine, and after her first collection, Poems, appeared in 1833, she published a book a year on average for the next decade. She drew on her travels in Europe for several of her volumes of poetry, including Travelling Sketches in Rhyme in 1835, Impressions of Italy in 1837, and Sonnets in 1839. She extended her travels to include such distant and exotic lands as the United States and the Middle East, which also served as material for her poetic imagination when she published a three-volume account titled Travels in the United States, followed by another edition in 1853. Stuart-Wortley's editing of two issues of the popular annual Keepsake, in 1837 and 1840, brought her into contact with such literary figures as Mary Shelley , Caroline Norton , and Marguerite, Countess of Blessington .

Stuart-Wortley's travels took a tragic turn during a tour of the Middle East in 1855, when she sustained a broken leg after being kicked by a mule. Although she continued her journey from Beirut to Aleppo, she died upon her return to Beirut.


The Concise Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Shattock, Joanne. The Oxford Guide to British Women Writers. Oxford University Press, 1993.

B. Kimberly Taylor , freelance writer, New York, New York

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Stuart-Wortley, Emmeline (1806–1855)

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