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Sarah Anne Curzon (1833–1898)

Author of Laura Secord, the heroine of 1812. A Drama. and Other Poems.

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Sarah Anne Curzon, née Vincent, was born in Birmingham, England, the daughter of a wealthy glass manufacturer and his wife. She was educated by tutors and at private girls' schools. She began writing at an early age and contributed poems and stories to popular magazines such as Leisure Hour. In 1858, she married Robert Curzon of Norfolk, and emigrated with him to Canada in 1862, settling in Toronto. Sarah Anne Curzon was a feminist, women's rights activist, and co-founder of the Toronto Women's Literary Club, whose mission was advancing women’s rights as well as literacy. In 1876, she wrote Canada's first feminist play, the historical drama Laura Secord, the Heroine of 1812, but could not get it published until 1887, when it became a bestseller. She wrote poetry, essays and short fiction for Canadian periodicals and articles on women's suffrage for American and British newspapers. In 1881 she became the associate editor of The Canada Citizen, where she wrote the first regular page on women's issues, including the right to vote and higher education. She wrote The Sweet Girl Graduate (1882), a one-act play mocking the idea that women were not intelligent enough to study at university level. She supported Dr. Emily Stowe's efforts to found the Women’s Medical College in Toronto (now Women's College Hospital) in 1883. In 1895, she and Mary Agnes Fitzgibbon co-founded the Women’s Canadian Historical Society  of Toronto. Her daughter became one of the first women to graduate from the University of Toronto.
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