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Maria Jane Jewsbury

Maria Jane Jewsbury (1800–1833), a writer and literary reviewer, was born in Measham. She was educated at a school in Shenstone, Staffordshire and later (through ill health) at home. While bringing up her younger siblings, including Geraldine Jewsbury, after their mother died in 1819, she read avidly, and began to contribute to the Manchester Gazette and other journals in 1821. Her Phantasmagoria,/em> (1825), containing poetry and prose, attracted the attention of William Wordsworth and Dorothy. She paid a visit to the Wordsworths in Lancashire in July 1825. She underwent protracted illness and a spiritual crisis in 1826. Her Letters to the Young (1828) call on children to eschew worldliness. Another close friend was Felicia Hemans, with whom she stayed in Wales in the summer of 1828. Through acquaintance with its editor, Charles Wentworth Dilke, she began to write for The Athenaeum in 1830. Against the wishes of her father, she was married on 1 August 1832 to Rev. William Kew Fletcher (died 1867), at Penegoes, Montgomeryshire. The couple set out for India, where she continued to write poetry and a journal. She died of cholera at Poona on 4 October 1833.

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