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Louisa Stuart Costello

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Published : 19 Articles
Pen Names : None
Date of Birth : N/A
Death : N/A
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Miniature painter, author. Born in Ireland; in 1814 went with her widowed mother to Paris. By her miniature painting supported her brother Dudley Costello while he was at Sandhurst, also later. On her removal to London, continued miniature painting as profession; gained much distinction by her work. In 1835 published Specimens of the Early Poetry of France, with illuminations executed by her and her brother. The work brought her the friendship of Sir WaIter Scott and first made her generally known as a writer; thereafter devoted herself almost entirely to literature. Contributed to Literary Gazette, Athenaeum, Bentley's Miscellany, Ainsworth's, New Monthly, Ladies' Companion, and other periodicals. Edited The Rose Garden of Persia, 1845, translations from Persian poets, with illuminations by her and her brother. Author of The Maid of the Cyprus Isle, 1815, and other volumes of poems; Memoirs of Eminent Englishwomen, 1844; books of travel, and semi-historical novels. Elizabeth Barrett suggested to Horne in 1843 that his New Spirit of the Age should certainly include Miss Costello, "who is a highly accomplished woman, and full of grace and sense of beauty" (Letters ... to Richard Hengist Horne, II, 154-55). In 1852 granted Civil List pension of £75 a year "In consideration of her merits as an authoress, and her inability, from the state of her health, to continue her exertions for a livelihood" (Colles, Literature and the Pension List).

Dickens thought "A Literary Lady's Maid" just passable; the juxtaposition of that article with "Corporation Dreams" made him "thrill and shudder with indescribable anguish" (to Wills, July 25 1853).

The Office Book records payment for five of Miss Costello's contributions as made by "cheque to D.C." or "to Dudley".

Author: Anne Lohrli; © University of Toronto Press, 1973.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

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