sea. The couple had five children; two of her sons
died tragically while traveling. Frances is known
for being a notable domestic and had a reputation
as an ideal wife and mother.
Courtesy of C. Aspinall-Oglander,
Admiral's Widow (c. 1943) |
Boscawen was born in 1719 in St.
Clere, the only child of Frances Glanville
and William Evelyn. William took his wife’s
name upon marriage, giving young Frances
the last name Glanville. Little is known
of her youth and development.
In 1742, Frances married Edward
Boscawen, a noted Admiral who later became
General of the Marines. Edward’s occupation
would prove to be crucial to his wife’s
development as a writer. Many of her early
letters were written while her husband was
After her husband’s death
in 1761, Frances became an important hostess of
meetings. She was close friends with Elizabeth
Montagu, often thought of as “Queen
of the Blues”, who was also a hostess of
these events. Frances took on the role of typical
Bluestocking hostess, in that she used her home
to facilitate the exchange of ideas, but published
little of her own writing.
Most of Frances’ letters were
published after her death in 1805, particularly
in William Roberts’ biography of Hannah
More (1844). Her letters to her husband, preserved
by her family, were published largely in a collection
called Admiral’s Wife (1940). A
second compilation of her letters was published
in 1943, entitled Admiral’s Widow.
Most of her letters, however, remain unpublished.