Brooke, Frances

 Frances Brooke, née Moore, novelist, dramatist, essayist (christened at Claypole, Eng 24 Jan 1724; d at Sleaford, Eng 23 Jan 1789). In London, Frances moved in literary and theatrical circles. She published a weekly, The Old Maid (Nov 1755-July 1756), and a tragedy, Virginia, in 1756. Turning to fiction, in 1760 she translated a novel of sensibility, 3 years later publishing her own such novel, The History of Lady Julia Mandeville. That year she sailed for Québec, where her husband, the Reverend John Brooke, was military chaplain.

Here she wrote what may be described as the first Canadian novel, The History of Emily Montague (1769), which she enriched with descriptions of landscape and climate, current events and inhabitants of the new colony. Returning to England in 1768, she continued her literary career with 2 translations from the French and several novels. From 1773 she, with tragic actress Mary Ann Yates, managed the Opera House, and she finally achieved theatrical success with her tragedy The Siege of Sinope (1781) and 2 comic operas, Rosina (1783) and Marian (1788).