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Author: Baron Wilson, Margaret


BARON WILSON, Margaret, Mrs. Cornwell, formerly Harries (1797-1846: ODNB)

Poet, novelist, dramatist, editor, biographer. She was born at Shrewsbury, Shropshire, the only child of Roger Harries of London and Sophia (Arbouin) Harries. Little is known about her early life and education, but she claimed that she wrote Astarté when she was just 19 and her first book of poems was published when she was the same age. She married Cornwell Baron Wilson, a solicitor, in 1819 and thereafter her books were published as by Mrs Cornwell Baron Wilson. She had a number of children, some of whom died in infancy and her sense of grief and loss resonates through much of her poetry (particularly in The Cypress Wreath). She wrote prolifically: romantic dramas, novels, biographies (including one of women actors which takes seriously their cultural significance), and music in addition to poetry. She initiated several periodicals aimed at women readers and writers; both La Ninon; or, Leaves for the Album and the Weekly Belle Assemblée commenced in 1833, with the latter continuing as the New Monthly Belle Assemblée from 1834. The poetry for the third volume of Parry’s Welsh Melodies was composed by her, and in 1834 she won the prize for a poem on Princess Victoria at Cardiff’s bardic festival. She died at the family home at Woburn Place, London. (ODNB 22 Feb. 2019; 22 Feb. 2019; RPW)


Other Names:

  • Margaret Baron Wilson
  • Margaret Harries
  • Miss Harries
  • Mrs. Cornwall Baron Wilson

Books written (9):

2nd edn. London/ Edinburgh: C. Chapple/ Fairbairn and Anderson, 1818
London: Fricker, Simpkin and Marshall, 1826
4th edn. London: C. Chapple, Fricker, Simpkin, and Marshall, 1827
2nd edn. London: C. Chapple, Fricker, Simpkin and Marshall, 1827
Royston/ London: John Warren/ Thomas Hurst, Edward Chance and Co., 1828
London: Smith, Elder, and Co., 1828
London: W. Wright, 1831