Constantia Grierson (née Crawley)

(1704/5 - 2 December 1732)

Biographical note

Constantia Grierson, classical scholar, poet, and editor, was born Constantia Crawley in co. Kilkenny c.1704/5. She was tutored in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and French by her local vicar. In about 1722, she was apprenticed to Laetitia Pilkington's father to study midwifery in Dublin. Here she met the publisher George Grierson (c. 1680–1753), whom she married in 1726, and for whom she began editing a number of classical authors. She was highly regarded by Dublin's literary élite as an editor as well as a poet. She moved in Swift's circle and became friends with Mary Barber. Six of her poems were published, posthumously, in Barber's Poems on Several Occasions (1734). She died, aged twenty-seven, in Dublin on 2 December 1732, and was buried on 4 December at St John's cemetery in Dublin.

Bibliography

DMI 1645; ODNB 11575

Editions

  • Tucker, Bernard. The poetry of Laetitia Pilkington (1712-1750) and Constantia Grierson (1706-1733). Studies in British literature, v. 20. Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1996. Print.

Criticism

  • Backscheider, Paula. Inverting the image of Swift's 'Triumfeminate'. Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 4(1) (2004): 37-71. Print.
  • Lilley, Kate. Homosocial Women, Martha Sansom, Constantia Grierson, Mary Leapor and Georgic Verse Epistle. Armstrong, Isobel and Virginia Blain, eds., Women's Poetry in the Enlightenment, The Making of a Canon, 1730-1820. London, England; New York, NY: Macmillan/St. Martin's, with Centre for English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, 1999. 167-83. Print.
  • Pittock, Sarah Peterson. Constantia Grierson (1705?-1732). De Bruyn, Frans, ed., Eighteenth-Century British Literary Scholars and Critics. Detroit, MI: Gale, 2010. 105-112. Print.
  • Tucker, Bernard. Swift's 'Female Senate': Three Forgotten Poets. Irish Studies Review 7 (1994): 7-10. Print.