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Mary Brunton (1778-1818) - Novelist

She was born on 1st November 1778 in Orkney, the daughter of an army officer. In 1798 she married the Revd Alexander Brunton and the couple settled in the parish of Bolton near Haddington, East Lothian; between 1803 and her death on 7 December 1818 she lived in Edinburgh, where her husband was minister of the Tron Kirk. After his wife's death Alexander Brunton wrote her biography (1819). He survived her by 40 years, becoming in later life Professor of Oriental Languages at the University of Edinburgh. Mrs Brunton made her name with her first novel, Self Control (1810), which was dedicated to her lifelong friend Joanna Baillie. It was followed by Discipline in 1814. Both novels were popular 'improving' works in their day and were reprinted several times.
After a visit to England in 1815 she planned a series of sketches of middle-class manners, but only one, Emmeline (1819), reached fruition before her death.

Works: SeLF Control (1810); Discipline (1814); Emmeline (1819); The Works of Mary Brunton, 7 vols. (1820).

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