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Agnes Loudon

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Published : 1 Article
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b. 1832 (according to Mrs. Crosland) or 1834 (according to Allibone), d. 1864. Writer of children's stories; only child of John Claudius Loudon, writer on botany, and his wife Jane (Webb) Loudon, known for her popular manuals on gardening. Mrs. Newton Crosland, Landmarks of a Literary Life (pp. 185-89), Lady Priestley, The Story of a Lifetime (pp. 115-16), and Mrs. Cowden Clarke, My Long Life (pp. 128-29, 133-34) recorded their recollections of Miss Loudon:


Was a pretty, clever girl; sometimes visited, in Edinburgh, the daughters of Robert Chambers, one of whom became Lady Priestley. In London, was early allowed by her widowed mother to take part in the receptions, conversazioni, and parties held at the Loudon home - social events attended by "all the celebrities of the day"; mentioned among the celebrities are Douglas Jerrold, the Milner Gibsons, John Tenniel, Charles and Edwin Landseer, Clara Novello, Louis Blanc. As a result of her "precocious mixing so much in animated society", according to Mrs. Crosland, was at seventeen already "what is called blasee. A mere evening party, or carpet-dance ... was too tame for her taste; she already required private theatricals or a fancy ball". Married Markham Spofforth, a barrister.

Miss Loudon's "The Lost Gloves, or We Shall See. A Story for Little Girls" appeared in Chambers's on Jan. 11, 1845, when, according to AIlibone, the young lady had not yet "numbered eleven years." Contributed also "a number of papers to the English periodicals" (Allibone). Wrote six of the eleven stories in Tales for Young People, 1846 (published under her name), the book being dedicated, by permission of Her Majesty, to the Princess Royal; also Tales of School Life,1850.The Loudons were friends of the Willses.


Author: Anne Lohrli; © University of Toronto Press, 1971.

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