Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Lewis, Estelle Anna Blanche Robinson

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LEWIS, Estelle Anna Blanche Robinson, author, b. near Baltimore, Md., in April, 1824; d. in London, England, 24 Nov., 1880. She was the daughter of John Robinson, a wealthy planter of Anglo-Spanish birth, and inherited his poetical and melancholy temperament. While a school-girl, she translated the Æneid into English verse, composed a ballad called “The Forsaken,” which Edgar A. Poe praised extravagantly, and published “Records of the Heart,” which contains some of her best minor verses (New York, 1844). She married Sidney D. Lewis, of Brooklyn, N. Y., in 1841, and afterward resided much abroad, principally in England. While in Italy, in 1863, she wrote her tragedy of “Helémah, or the Fall of Montezuma,” which was published on her return to the United States the next year (New York, 1864). The success of this work encouraged her to write “Sappho of Lesbos,” a tragedy, her best dramatic work (London, 1868). This reached a seventh edition, and was translated into modern Greek and played at Athens. She returned to England in 1865, and her last work was a series of sonnets in defence of Edgar A. Poe. Lamartine called her the “Female Petrarch,” and Poe “the rival of Sappho.” Her other works are “The Child of the Sea and other Poems” (New York, 1848); “The Myths of the Minstrel” (1852); “Poems” (London, 1866); and “The King's Stratagem,” a tragedy (1869).