Samuel Richardson - Biography

Biography

Richardson, one of nine children, was probably born in 1689 in Mackworth, Derbyshire, to Samuel and Elizabeth Richardson. It is unsure where in Derbyshire he was born because Richardson always concealed the location. The older Richardson was, according to the younger:

a very honest man, descended of a family of middling note, in the country of Surrey, but which having for several generations a large number of children, the not large possessions were split and divided, so that he and his brothers were put to trades; and the sisters were married to tradesmen.

His mother, according to Richardson, "was also a good woman, of a family not ungenteel; but whose father and mother died in her infancy, within half-an-hour of each other, in the London pestilence of 1665".

The trade his father pursued was that of a joiner (a type of carpenter, but Richardson explains that it was "then more distinct from that of a carpenter than now it is with us"). In describing his father's occupation, Richardson stated that "he was a good draughtsman and understood architecture", and it was suggested by Samuel Richardson's son-in-law that the senior Richardson was a cabinetmaker and an exporter of mahogany while working at Aldersgate-street. The abilities and position of his father brought him to the attention of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth. However this, as Richardson claims, was to Richardson senior's "great detriment" because of the failure of the Monmouth Rebellion, which ended in the death of Scott in 1685. After Scott's death, the elder Richardson was forced to abandon his business in London and live a modest life in Derbyshire.

Read more about this topic:  Samuel Richardson

Famous quotes containing the word biography:

    The best part of a writer’s biography is not the record of his adventures but the story of his style.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977)

    Just how difficult it is to write biography can be reckoned by anybody who sits down and considers just how many people know the real truth about his or her love affairs.
    Rebecca West (1892–1983)

    Just how difficult it is to write biography can be reckoned by anybody who sits down and considers just how many people know the real truth about his or her love affairs.
    Rebecca West [Cicily Isabel Fairfield] (1892–1983)