Catherine Gurney Wakefield

Catherine (1793-1873), (known as a young child as Kitty) was the first child of Edward and Susan and Priscilla’s first grandchild. She was born in London two years after her parents married and it would be three years before her brother Edward Gibbon was born followed by eight other siblings. When her mother’s health deteriorated Catherine and Edward Gibbon lived for long periods with Priscilla who took responsibility for their education.  The task of caring for small children put demands on Priscilla’s time, ‘my literary efforts have been greatly suspended. The Travellers are still unpublished. I have written a few Dialogues for a new work, and one story for another: my reading has likewise confined’.  A portrait of Catherine in 1800 was painted by a French woman refugee and is inserted in Irma O’Connor’s biography of Edward Gibbon. Catherine at seven has dark hair and eyes and a rather serious expression.

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Published in: on July 12, 2009 at 4:12 am  Leave a Comment  

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