Woman of the Century/Ella Maria Dietz Clymer

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2258333Woman of the Century — Ella Maria Dietz Clymer

CLYMER, Mrs. Ella Maria Dietz, poet, born in New York City. Even as a child she showed many signs of that varied genius which has made her remarkable among the women of her ELLA MARIA DIETZ CLYMER. time. Her father died while she was very young, and her mother at first objected to her selection of a theatrical career, but finally gave consent to her daughter's dramatic studies. Early in her teens she married the late Edward M. Clymer, of Pennsylvania, brother of Heister Clymer, who was a member of Congress for several years. Mrs. Clymer made her professional debut in New York, in 1872, as Pauline in the "Lady of Lyons." In the spring of 1874 she went to Paris, and in company of her brother and her sister, Miss Linda Dietz, so favorably known in America and in London, she spent some months in studying in the French school of dramatic art. She acted afterwards both in London and the provinces, and her performances of the principal Shakespearean parts were very highly commended. Her Juliet was spoken of as "a revelation, poetical and imaginative in the highest degree." In 1881 she brought out a version of "Faust," adapted by herself for the English stage, in which she played Margaret, and was called the very living reality of Goethe's heroine." The fatigue of stage life proved too much for Mrs. Clymer's delicate constitution, and she was obliged to abandon the profession. She continued her public readings, however, a department of the dramatic art in which she probably has no peer, and Moncure D. Conway gave expression to the general opinion when he wrote: "As a dramatic reciter and interpreter of modern ballad poetry she is unequaled." Nor was her dramatic gift her only one. She has talent as an artist and has composed many songs full of dainty grace and melody. Her first poems were published in 1873, and since then she has written frequently for the English and American press. In 1877 she published "The Triumph of Love" (London), and seven years later "The Triumph of Time" (London, 1884), soon followed by "The Triumph of Life" (London, 1885). These are mystical poems, composed of songs, lyrics and sonnets, ranging over the whole gamut of human and divine love, and marked by the same high qualities that distinguished all her work. Notwithstanding all this self-culture, she has not neglected humanity. While in London she was an enthusiastic member of the Church and Stage Guild, and of the religious guild of St. Matthews; she lectured before workingmen's clubs and took part in many other philanthropic undertakings. She has been connected with Sorosis since its beginning, in 1868, and on her return to New York, in 1881, was immediately put upon many of its committees, and served for two years as its president. She has been a leading factor in the Federation of Women's Clubs, which is doing so much to forward the harmonious work of the best women for their own highest good and in the interest of the world.