Baillie, Joanna (1762-1851)

Baillie, Joanna, poetess, was born 11th September 1762, in Bothwell manse ; in 1776 her father became professor of Divinity in Glasgow. In 1784 she went to reside in London, where her brother, Matthew Baillie (q.v.), had established himself as a physician. In 1806 she and her sister, Agnes, took a house for themselves at Hampstead, and here she remained till her death, on 23d February 1851. Agnes survived till 1861. No authoress ever enjoyed a larger share than the ' immortal Joanna' of the esteem and affection of her literary contemporaries. All vied in showing her a courteous respect, and even America sent its votaries to her little shrine at Hampstead. Her 1 greatest achievement is undoubtedly the nine Plays on the Passions (1798-1836), which, though erroneous in conception, are full of noble and impressive poetry, and often characterised by intense dramatic power. The most popular as well as the most powerful of them, the tragedy De Monfort, was brought out at Drury Lane in 1800, Kemble and Mrs Siddons taking the leading parts. Her Family Legend, produced at Edinburgh under Scott's auspices in 1810, was a great success. See Lady Richmond Ritchie's Boole of Sibyls (1883).
1. Chamber's Biographical Dictionary, Philadelphia, 1926, page 60.

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