Anna B. JamesonAnna B. Jameson
English writer
1794 – 1860 A.D.

Anna Brownell Jameson, an English writer, born in Dublin. At sixteen years of age she became governess in the family of the Marquis of Winchester, and in 1825 she married Robert Jameson. The union proved uncongenial, and Mrs. Jameson devoted herself to literary work, while her husband went to fill a government position in Canada.

The first work which displayed her powers of original thought was her Characteristics of Women in 1832, these analyses of Shakespeare’s heroines are remarkable for delicacy of critical insight and fineness of literary touch. They are the result of a penetrating but essentially feminine mind, applied to the study of individuals of its own set, detecting characteristics and defining differences not perceived by the ordinary critic and entirely overlooked by the general reader.

Mrs. Jameson’s other important work was her series of Sacred and Legendary Art, a storehouse of delightful knowledge, as admirable for accurate research as for poetic and artistic feeling. She recognized the extend of the ground before her as a mingled sphere of poetry, history, devotion and art. She infected her readers with her own enthusiastic admiration, and produced a book which thoroughly deserved its great success.

Besides writing many other books on travel, biography and art criticism, Mrs. Jameson took a keen interest in questions affecting the education, occupations and maintenance of her own sex. To her we owe the first popular enunciation of the principle of male and female cooperation in works of mercy and education. Sisters of charity, hospitals, penitentiaries, prisons and workhouses all claimed her interest – all more or less included under those definitions of “the communication of love and communion of labor” which are inseparably connected with her memory.

To the clear and temperate forms in which she brought the results of her convictions before her friends in the shape of private lectures, may be traced the source whence later reformers and philanthropists took counsel and courage.


Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.

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