Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Collyer, Mary

COLLYER, MARY (d. 1763), authoress, whose maiden name was Mitchell, became the wife of Joseph Collyer the elder [q. v.] She is principally known as the translator of Gesner's 'Death of Abel' (1761). This work passed through numerous editions in England, Scotland, and Ireland. She had previously published in 1750, in two volumes, ' Letters from Felicia to Charlotte,' which recommended her to the notice of Mrs. Montague, Miss Talbot, and Mrs. Carter. The latter in 1761 spoke of her to Mrs. Montague as 'writing for the support of her family,' which, she adds, 'is a laudable employment.' Mrs. Collyer afterwards translated part of Klopstock's 'Messiah;' but dying in 1763, before it was completed, the remainder was translated and published by her husband about the end of that year in two volumes. The third volume did not appear till 1772, when the taste for this species of poetry, or mixture of poetry and prose, was beginning to decline.

[Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn), p. 883; Gent. Mag. xcviii. pt. i. p. 184.]

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