1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Duclaux, Agnes Mary F.

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8206411911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 8 — Duclaux, Agnes Mary F.

DUCLAUX, AGNES MARY F. (1856–  ), English poet and critic, who first became known in England under her maiden name of Mary F. Robinson, was born at Leamington on the 27th of February 1856. She was educated at University College, London, devoting herself chiefly to the study of Greek literature. Her first volume of poetry, A Handful of Honeysuckle, was published in 1879. Her next work was a translation from Euripides, The Crowned Hippolytus (1881). Monographs on Emily Brontë (1883) and on Marguerite of Angoulême (1886) followed; and The New Arcadia and other Poems (1884) and An Italian Garden (1886) contain some of her best verses. Her poems attracted the attention of the orientalist, James Darmesteter (q.v.), then in Peshawur, and he made an admirable translation of them in French. The acquaintance led to their marriage in 1888, and from that time a large part of her work was done in French. Madame Darmesteter translated her husband’s Études anglaises into English (1896). Her most considerable prose work is the Life of Ernest Renan (1897). She also wrote the End of the Middle Ages (1888); the volume on Froissart (1894) in the Grands écrivains français; essays on the Brontës, the Brownings and others, entitled Grands écrivains d’Outre-Manche (1901). After Darmesteter’s death, she married in 1901 Émile Duclaux, the associate of Pasteur, and director of the Pasteur institute. He died in 1904. She published Retrospect and other Poems in 1893, and in 1904 appeared The Return to Nature, Songs and Symbols. The qualities of Mary Robinson’s work, its conciseness and purity of expression, were only gradually recognized. Her Collected Poems, Lyrical and Narrative were published in 1902.