Frances Wright: September 6, 1795-December 13,1852

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In her biography of Wright, Cecilia Morris Eckhardt writes that young Wright's "scholarship led her to classical drama as well as to European and English poetry, which she studied . . . by imitation. She found relief through writing: to name her feelings was to understand and to control them. In a poem apparently from this period [1806-1813, when Wright was between 31 and 38] she wrote of losing a beloved friend:

Fair star! May every joy be thine!

May though never prove the bitter anguish

Of love so true, so fond as mine,

Doomed without hope untold to languish.

Oh had I but the Lesbyan's lyre,

Blue-eyed Sappho's fervid strain,

Then might I hope thy blood to fire,

Then should I make thee share my pain.[1]


Primary Sources:

Secondary Sources:


Wright, Frances (Fanny) Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women (Edinburgh University Press, 2006). [A user comments: This Dictionary makes no mention of this bi/lesbian aspect in its relatively extensive entry on Wright. It is fair to say the Dictionary is pretty poor in relation to matters of sexuality.]


  1. Cecil Morris Eckhardt, Fanny Wright: Rebel in America (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1992), p. 10. Note 26 on page 301 cites Theresa Wolfson Papers, Martin P. Catherwood Library, Cornell University.


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