Agnes Strickland 1796 – 1874
June 16, 2010
Agnes Strickland 1796 – 1874 was an English historical writer and poet.
The daughter of Thomas Strickland of Reydon Hall, Suffolk, Agnes was educated by her father, and began her literary career with a poem, Worcester Field, followed by The Seven Ages of Woman and Demetrius.
Abandoning poetry, she next produced, among others, Historical Tales of Illustrious British Children (1833), The Pilgrims of Walsingham (1835), Tales and Stories from History (1836). Her chief works, however, are Lives of the Queens of England from the Norman Conquest, and Lives of the Queens of Scotland, and English Princesses, etc.. (8 vols., 1850–1859), Lives of the Bachelor Kings of England (1861), and Letters of Mary Queen of Scots, in some of which she was assisted by her sister Elisabeth.
Strickland’s researches were laborious and conscientious, and she remains a useful source, but she failed to exercise the level of objectivity that a modern historian would aspire to. Her style is considered mediocre, by some, but writing should be compared only directly to that of the contemporaries of the time. Most of the Strickland sisters’ historical research and writing was actually done by Elisabeth. Elisabeth however eschewed all publicity and Agnes was put forward as author.