Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dobson, Susannah

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DOBSON, SUSANNAH, née Dawson (d. 1795), translator, came from the south of England. She married Matthew Dobson, M.D., F.R.S., of Liverpool, author of several medical treatises, who died at Bath in 1784. In 1775 she published her ‘Life of Petrarch, collected from Mémoires pour la vie de Petrarch’ (by de Sade), in 2 vols. 8vo. It was reprinted in 1777, and several times up to 1805, when the sixth edition was issued. Her second work was a translation of Sainte-Palaye's ‘Literary History of the Troubadours,’ 1779, 8vo; 2nd edit. 1807. In 1784 she translated the same author's ‘Memoirs of Ancient Chivalry,’ and in 1791 Petrarch's ‘View of Human Life’ (‘De Remediis Utriusque Fortunæ’). To her also is ascribed an anonymous ‘Dialogue on Friendship and Society’ (8vo, no date), and ‘Historical Anecdotes of Heraldry and Chivalry.’ The latter was published in quarto at Worcester about 1795. Madame d'Arblay mentions that in 1780 Mrs. Dobson was ambitious to get into Mrs. Thrale's circle, but the latter ‘shrunk from her advances.’ She died 30 Sept. 1795, and was buried at St. Paul's, Covent Garden.

[Smithers's Liverpool, 1825, p. 418; Gent. Mag. 1795, pt. ii. p. 881; D'Arblay's Diary, &c., 1842, i. 336; Moule's Bibliotheca Heraldica, 1822, p. 480; Brit. Mus. Cat. of Printed Books.

C. W. S.