AT LAST… A BIOGRAPHY ON ELIZABETH COBBOLD

January 2020

As No. 2 in the Cobbold & Kin series the Trust has published Elizabeth Cobbold, Georgian Polymath a biography of one of the most famous Cobbolds of all time, by Adele Mallen.  For those who are new to the family Elizabeth Cobbold (1765-1824) #58 on the web family tree was the second wife of ‘Big’ John Cobbold, 3rd generation brewer at The Cliff, Ipswich.    John is well nicknamed ‘Big’ not only for his astute growing of the family business for some 60 years but also for his procreation of 15 children with his first wife.  His second Elizabeth gave him another 7 making 22 in total!  Apart from taking on 15 stepchildren and adding another 7 herself Elizabeth was a remarkable lady as readers of the biography will discover.

Dr Kate Kennedy, Writer and Broadcaster, Associate Director of the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing says:

This is a sensitively written and meticulously researched biography.  Its great affinity with its subject shines through, bringing to life a woman who should be remembered as one of those who set the precedent for women taking an active part in the arts and sciences.  Elizabeth Cobbold, contemporary of Jane Austen, proved that women could take the stage in public life, be creative and respected for it.  Novelist, poet, artist and scientist, she was also known for her philanthropy.  This faithful account of her story helps to place her alongside the scant female contemporaries of whom we have heard, and nuance the general assumption that only a very few women could make their mark in the 1700s.

Adele Mallen has an interest in eighteenth century literature and has published articles on this period.  She has been particularly drawn to the life of Elizabeth Cobbold who she regards as a highly talented lady, who like so many other women of the time appears to have been disregarded in history.  Adele feels that a re-examination of Elizabeth’s contribution to the feminist position at this time is long overdue.

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