The Diaries of Elizabeth Inchbald, Volume 3: July 2, 1807- July 8, 1807

The Diaries of Elizabeth Inchbald, Volume 3: July 2, 1807- July 8, 1807

Born: October 16, 1753 - Suffolk, England 

Died: August 1, 1821 - London, England

Elizabeth was born to Mr. Simpson who worked as a farmer. Elizabeth's father died in her infancy and did not get to watch his daughter's love of the stage flourish. Elizabeth's love of theater and desire to act was not met with an easy transition into a career in stage work. Elizabeth suffered from a speech impediment which greatly affected her ability to find work. She was able to persevere past her impediment and find shows that would cast her; which let her to finding her husband Mr. Inchbald. Mr. Inchbald was also an actor by trade. Elizabeth was shortly after widowed in 1779. After the death of her husband she was able to find work on the stage but was never truly successful. Mrs. Inchbald's success was met when she discovered writing. She became well known in the literary world "in the lines of dramatic composition and novel writing." (Rivers)


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  • Wikimedia Public Domain

About This Exhibit


Samantha Dorgan

What was life like as a Christian woman living in London in 1807? Were they educated? Were they socially involved in the community? Were they concerned about foreign affairs?

Thursday, 2 July

Warm and rather pleasant _ the news paper seemd to doubt government report of the battle of Friedland_ at hald after one

> Thursday Dolly came and I went out and bought a bad dinner _ not fresh.

Thursday's entry begins as most of Inchbald's entry's begin - with a summary of the weather. This repetition of mentioning the daily weather shows how observant she was.

The main focus of this entry is historical, stating that the "news paper seemd to doubt government report of the Battle of Friedland." There was however, a Battle of Friedland. This battle led to the end of the war between the French, led by Napoleon, and Alexander I of Russia. Napoleon was victorious after this battle which took place on June 14, 1807. The relevance of this on English life

  • Wikimedia Public Domain
  • Wikimedia Public Domain
  • Wikimedia Public Domain
  • Wikimedia Public Domain

Sunday, 5 July

Warm & plesant _ read the "Artist", an Evangelical Magazine &c _ dull and thought much on Mr. Morrises visit to me yesterday & the death of Mrs. Hill.

Did not 

Sunday go out for beer, but went Early to bed and saw no creature all day

>> All alone


Begins with a description of the weather. This passage alludes to the fact that Mrs. Inchbald is well off enough to afford to have her own copies of Magazines. She did not have to rely on others to supply her with reading material. She is reading an Evengelical Magazine which shows she is a Christian or has an interest in Christianity. 

Mrs. Inchbald reflects on the people in her life and the death of a friend. Showing she is not a lonely widow; although she does not choose to be social this day. She chooses to go out for a beer and return to bed and speak to no one. 


Friday, 3 July

A Gloomy cool day_ Low, Baptist came, worked, had a fire all day_ towards dusk C: Phillips called with

Friday a Letter from Mrs. Opie & told me his Brother Robert was this day brought home in a Litter. At Robins s after.

>> Robert Phillips brought home in a Litter


Again, this entry begins with a summary of the day's weather in London.

The Baptist came to visit Mrs. Inchbald, again showing that she is of Christian decent. The fact that she is close enough to this Baptist alludes to the fact that she is not afraid to tie herself to her religion. These subtle hints can be used to sense the political climate of 1807

There is no mention of historical happenings in this entry. 

The focus of this entry is "Robert Phillips being brought home in a Litter."


Saturday, 4 July

Fine and pleasant_ Dolly did not dine here __ Dr. DeChair calld I saw him in the parlor _ then Mr. Edward Morris

Saturday and I saw him on the stairs_ he told me much of Mrs. Hill's death, her Will &c.

>> Mr. Edward Morris talked to me on the stairs some time


Began again with a summary of the weather in London. 

This entry shows how social Mrs. Inchbald can be.

No mention of historical events.  

Depiction of Street in London 1807

Depiction of Street in London 1807

The Duchess of Brunswich arrived. Henry 5th came out.

Monday, 6 July

Fine but not hot _ At Covent Garden Before breakfast for Peas, fruit &c. H. Twiss called at noon with an invitation

Monday from Lady Cork_ I saw him and refused him. Dolly & Louisa Pelegrine Calld in the evening. 

>> H. Twiss brought me an invitation from Lady Cork


Historical reference- both the Duchess of Brunswick and Henry the 5th are mentioned. 

> Henry V lived in the 15th century. Was not alive when Elizabeth Inchbald wrote her diary. 

This entry also begins with a mention of the weather in London. 

It is also highlighted that Mrs. Inchbald is a popular woman and was called upon by multiple people in one day. She received an invitation, unsure what the invitation is for. 

Tuesday, 7 July

Fine but cool_ Dolly did not come because of an epected debate in the Paper_ she went to Clarkenwell_ no debate published but a certain

Tuesday account of the enterance of the French into Koningsburgh &c_ I calld on Mrs. Pelegrine, bought chocolate and calld on Mrs. Phillips in the evening_ saw Robert up.

>> The defeat of the Russians Confiremed the taking of Koningsburgh


Another focus on weather. 

The victory by the French at the Battle of Friedland has now been confirmed throughout London. This victory came on June 14th and was verified on July 7th. Koningsburgh is in modern day Russia and was just southeast of Friedland. 

A Christian woman in 1807 was learned enough to understand the magnitude of the war of France against the Russians. 

    Wednesday, 8 July

    Fine & pleasant _ Dolly came to dinner & my paper came late and I reas to her the Bulletin in it describing the Battle of

    Wednesday Friendland and the grant of an Armistice & Called on Robinsins in the evening.

    >> The Battle of Friedland described & an Armistice announced.

    Weather analysis to begin entry. 

    Another entry showing that Mrs. Inchbald does not like to dine alone and finds her social life important. 

    >> Her love of reading shines through in her almost daily mention of reading. Her mention of reading on the 8th of July shows that word of the Armistice between the French and the Russians has now made it to the streets of London. 

    • An image.
    • Another image.
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    Lorem Ipsum

    Aenean sodales porta faucibus. Ut placerat, leo nec pharetra scelerisque, purus urna porta massa, vel suscipit elit felis at arcu. Suspendisse potenti. In et sagittis dui. Morbi vehicula vehicula sapien vitae condimentum. Fusce faucibus ac nunc et elementum. Quisque ut pretium arcu, ac viverra lorem.

    "Battle of Friedland." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2016.

    Women, the Novel, and Natural Philosophy, 1660-1830. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, March 2014.

    Gender and Space in British Literature, 1660-1820. Co-edited with Dr. Mona Narain of Texas Christian University. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014.




    "Battle of Friedland." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2016.

    "Elizabeth Inchbald." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

    Rivers, David. Literary memoirs of living authors of Great Britain, arranged according to an alphabetical catalogue of their Names; and including a list of their works, with occasional opinions upon their literary character. In two volumes. ... Vol. Volume 1. London,  1798. Eighteenth Century Collections Online. Gale. VALE - Seton Hall University. 29 Nov. 2016