Inchbald, Elizabeth [key], 1753–1821, English author. The daughter of a farmer, Joseph Simpson, she went to London in 1772 to seek her fortune on the stage. The same year she married a fellow actor, Joseph Inchbald. In 1784 she turned from acting to writing. Her plays, moral and sentimental, include I'll Tell You What (1785) and Wives as They Were, and Maids as They Are (1797). However, she is better remembered for two romantic novels, A Simple Story (1791) and Nature and Art (1796).
See biography by W. McKee (1935); B. R. Park, Thomas Holcroft and Elizabeth Inchbald (1952); R. Manvell, Elizabeth Inchbald: England's Principal Woman Dramatist and Independent Woman of Letters in 18th Century London (1988).
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