Elizabeth Ryves

Life
1750-1797; plays, and novels incl. The Hermit of Snowden; Mentioned in Disraeli’s Calamities. ODNB 1750-1797; The Prude; references to O’Donoghue, Webb, and Hale’s Woman’s Record; also Gentleman’s Mag. 1797, i. 445. Signed E. L. DIB DIW PI CAB ODNB RAF OCIL

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Commentary
Patrick Rafroidi
, Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period, 1789-1850, Vol 1 (1980), writes of Elisabeth Ryves, one of the first translators of Rousseau [13]; old-fashioned neo-classical preference for Elisabeth Ryves dialogue and epistle [29]. Further, ‘Considerably diluted emotions also appear in The Hermit of Snowden, Mrs Ryves’ novel published in 1790. Written in a somewhat over-refined style and still to a didactic end, it does not break away from the sclerotic neo-classical mould [inspite of] moments of promise ... the fateful world of unhappy loves and bitter remorse, in a cave inhabited for thrioty years by a hermit famous for goodness and saintliness, the travellers discover ‘a highly finished portrait of a very beautiful woamn, undisputably not a Madonna’ under which some lines of troubled poetry’ [four stanzas quoted in n.106, ending ‘Till on the wave of wild distraction tost,/I lose all memory save of her and woe’] [63]. Bibl., Rafroidi (1980), Vol 2, Works incl. The Hermit of Snowden, or the Memoir of Albert and Lavinia, taken from a faithful copy of the original manuscript which was found in the hermitage by the late Rev. Dr. L- and Mr. - in the Year 17- (Dublin 1790).

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References
D. J. O’Donoghue, The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical Dictionary (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co 1912); Poems on Several Occasions, and The Prude, com. op. (Lon. 1777); Ode to the Rev. W. Mason (anon. Lon 1780); Dialogues in the Elysian Fields between Caesar and Cato (Lon. 1785); The Hastiniad, a heroick poem (anon 1785), Epistle in Verse to Lord Cavendish (1784), Ode to Lord Melton (anon. 1787); works incl. novel and comedy.

Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction (Dublin: Maunsel 1919); b. circa 1750, d. destitute London 1797; gives a thin account of the calamity, ‘cheated by some legal shark’.

Peter Kavanagh, Irish Theatre (1946), cites Poems on Several Occasions, include The Prude, com. opera, and The Triumph of Hymen, dram. poem; also The De bt of Honour, com., never acted.

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