The Female Prose Writers of America: With Portraits, Biographical Notices, and Specimens of their Writings/Anne T. Wilbur

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To translate well is a rare accomplishment. So far as mere style and language are concerned, translation is more difficult than original composition. Among the few who have excelled in this line, may be mentioned the lady whose name stands at the head of this article. Her translations have, indeed, the ease and grace and the idiomatic propriety of writings of a native growth. These translations have been from the popular literature of Europe, chiefly from the French, and have consisted mostly of short tales. Some of them have been published in the form of small volumes; others have appeared in periodicals of different kinds.

Besides her translations, Miss Wilbur has written occasionally original articles for the magazines and weekly papers, under the name of “Florence Leigh,” and has performed a considerable amount of editorial labour. As editor of the “Ladies’ Magazine,” published in Boston, in 1848, and of the “Ladies’ Casket,” published the same year, in Lowell, she secured for those works many valuable contributors.

Miss Wilbur was born at Wendell, Massachusetts, in 1817. She is the daughter of the Rev. Henry Wilbur, of Newburyport, extensively known as a lecturer on astronomy, and as the originator of Bible Classes. The secluded life and leisure of a village pastor, led him to take unusual pains in the instruction of his oldest child and only daughter. This, and the possession of a mind constitutionally precocious, led to very early attempts at authorship—the first, a school-girl feat, achieved at the age of eleven, entitled “Grimalkin, a Tragedy,” and ending in the destruction of an entire family of rats.

Miss Wilbur began, at the age of fifteen, to teach, and has been engaged as a teacher until within the last three or four years, which have been occupied with literary labour. Her residence is Newburyport, Massachusetts.