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Charlotte Mew (1869–1928)

Author of Collected Poems and Selected Prose

Includes the names: Charlotte Mary Mew

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Short biography
Charlotte Mary Mew was the daughter of Frederick Mew, an architect. He died in 1898, leaving Charlotte, her mother, and her sister Anne in financial straits. Two of her other siblings suffered from mental illness and were committed to institutions. Charlotte and Anne lived at home and made a vow never to marry for fear of passing on mental illness to their own children. Charlotte became a writer and published her first short story in 1894. Her first collection of poetry, The Farmer's Bride, appeared in 1916, in chapbook format; in the USA, it was called Saturday Market (1921). Her work was greatly admired by many other writers, including Ezra Pound and Virginia Woolf, and she became a protégé of Thomas Hardy and Siegfried Sassoon; with their help, she obtained a small government pension. After her sister died in 1927, Charlotte became deeply depressed, despite her literary success, and committed suicide by drinking poison. Today her work has been all but forgotten. See her biography Charlotte Mew and Her Friends (2002), by Penelope Fitzgerald.
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