Inchbald, Elizabeth, 1753-1821, English author. The daughter of a farmer, Joseph Simpson, she went to London in 1772 to seek her fortune on the stage. The same year she married a fellow actor, Joseph Inchbald. In 1784 she turned from acting to writing. Her plays, moral and sentimental, include I'll Tell You What (1785) and Wives as They Were, and Maids as They Are (1797). However, she is better remembered for two romantic novels, A Simple Story (1791) and Nature and Art (1796).

See biography by W. McKee (1935); B. R. Park, Thomas Holcroft and Elizabeth Inchbald (1952); R. Manvell, Elizabeth Inchbald: England's Principal Woman Dramatist and Independent Woman of Letters in 18th Century London (1988).

Taylor, Elizabeth, 1932-, Anglo-American film actress, b. London. Regarded as one of the world's most beautiful women, Taylor went from child star to a series of ladylike roles to playing worldly, sometimes shrewish women. She won Academy Awards for her work in Butterfield 8 (1960) and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). Her other films include National Velvet (1944), A Place in the Sun (1951), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Cleopatra (1963), and The Mirror Crack'd (1979). She has also appeared on Broadway in such productions as The Little Foxes (1981). Taylor has been married nine times, twice to Richard Burton, with whom she co-starred in many films. She has been active in raising money for AIDS research, and was made a Dame Commander, Order of the British Empire, in 2000.

See her autobiography (1965); biographies by C. D. Heymann and D. Spoto (both: 1995).

Bowen, Elizabeth, 1899-1973, Anglo-Irish novelist, b. Dublin. In impeccable prose she treated love and frustration through studies of complex psychological relationships. Her novels include The Hotel (1927), To the North (1932), The House in Paris (1936), The Death of the Heart (1938), and The Heat of the Day (1949). In her last three novels—A World of Love (1955), Two Little Girls (1964), and Eva Trout; or, Changing Scenes (1968)—Bowen was less concerned with rendering reality than with exploring truths best expressed in myth or parable. Look at All Those Roses (1941), Ivy Gripped the Steps (1946), and A Day in the Dark and Other Stories (1965) are volumes of short stories. Nonfiction works include Bowen's Court (1942), on her ancestral home; The Shelbourne Hotel (1951); and Seven Winters; and Afterthoughts (1962), a collection of childhood memories and literary studies. Pictures and Conversations (1975) is a collection of miscellaneous writings, including portions of a novel and autobiography left unfinished at Bowen's death.

See biographies by E. J. Kenney (1975), V. Glendinning (1978), P. Craig (1987), and N. Corcoran (2005); studies by H. Blodgett (1975), H. Bloom, ed. (1987), A. E. Austin (rev. ed. 1989), P. Lassner (1991), A. Bennett and N. Royle (1994), R. C. Hoogland (1994), L. Christensen (2001), and M. Ellmann (2003).

Elizabeth, Saint, in the Gospel of St. Luke, mother of John the Baptist and kinswoman of the Virgin Mary. Feast: Nov. 5.
Elizabeth, Saint, 1207-31, daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary and wife of Landgrave Louis II of Thuringia. She is called St. Elizabeth of Hungary. She led a simple life, personally tended the sick and the poor, and spent long hours at prayer. After the death of her husband (1227) she saw to it that her children's welfare was taken care of and retired to a small cottage near Marburg. There, under the spiritual direction of Conrad of Marburg, she led an austere life. St. Elizabeth died at the age of 23. Feast: Nov. 19.
Elizabeth, 1837-98, empress of Austria and queen of Hungary. A Bavarian princess, she was married (1854) to her cousin, Emperor Francis Joseph. Despite her exceptional beauty, intelligence, and kindness she led an unhappy domestic life, which was marred, moreover, by family tragedies (notably the death of her only son, Archduke Rudolf, and the death of one of her sisters in the charity bazaar fire in Paris, 1897). Independent and unconventional, she avoided the stiff etiquette of the Viennese court and spent much of her time abroad, chiefly on Corfu. She was assassinated by the Italian anarchist Luccheni in Geneva, Switzerland.

See biography J. Haslip (1965).

Elizabeth, 1709-62, czarina of Russia (1741-62), daughter of Peter I and Catherine I. She gained the throne by overthrowing the young czar, Ivan VI, and the regency of his mother, Anna Leopoldovna. Her coup was made possible by her popularity with the imperial guards, who hated the German favorites of Anna Leopoldovna. Elizabeth herself, armed, led the bloodless revolution. Guided in her foreign policy by her chancellor, A. P. Bestuzhev-Ryumin, Elizabeth sought to rid Russia of German influence. She victoriously sided against Frederick II of Prussia in the Seven Years War, but her death and the accession of her nephew, Peter III, took Russia out of the war and made Frederick's ultimate victory possible. During her reign the nobles acquired more power over their serfs and gained a dominant position in local government, while the terms of service they owed the state were shortened. The Moscow Univ. (now Moscow State Univ.) and the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg were founded during her reign.
Elizabeth, 1596-1662, queen of Bohemia, daughter of James I of England. Her beauty attracted most of the royal suitors of Europe (she was nicknamed the "Queen of Hearts"), but she was married (1613) to Frederick V, elector palatine (see Frederick the Winter King) in order to cement an alliance between English and German Protestantism. She became queen of Bohemia in 1619, when her husband accepted the crown offered by the Bohemian diet. After Frederick was defeated (1620) in the battle of the White Mt., Elizabeth took up her residence in Holland, where she courageously endured privation and misfortune. She received little support from abroad, even from her son Charles Louis, who was restored to the Palatinate in 1648. In 1661 she returned to England against the wishes of King Charles II, who, however, pensioned her. Among her children were Prince Rupert; Princess Elizabeth, who was the patroness of Descartes; and Sophia, who was electress of Hanover and mother of George I of England.
Elizabeth, 1843-1916, queen of Romania, consort of King Carol I, whom she married in 1869. Of German birth, she was the daughter of Hermann, prince of Wied. She completely identified herself with her adopted people and devoted herself to their cultural development. Under the pseudonym Carmen Sylva the queen wrote extensively and with almost equal facility in German, French, English, and Romanian. She collaborated on several books with her lady-in-waiting, Mite Kremnitz.
Elizabeth, 1900-2002, queen consort of George VI of Great Britain, mother of Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret, b. London. She was Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon until her marriage (1923). During the Blitz in World War II, she and the king remained in London, becoming symbols of courage to the British people. Elizabeth assumed the title Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, when her daughter was crowned. An active public figure, affectionately called the "Queen Mum," she was chancellor of the Univ. of London (1955-80) and one of the most enduringly popular members of the royal family.

See biography by W. Shawcross (2009).

Elizabeth, 1764-94, sister of King Louis XVI of France, known as Madame Elizabeth. Deeply loyal to her brother, she remained in France during the French Revolution, suffered imprisonment, and was guillotined.
Elizabeth: see Russell, Mary Annette.
Elizabeth, city (1990 pop. 110,002), seat of Union co., NE N.J., on Newark Bay; inc. 1855. It is a shipping and transportation hub, with some of the world's largest containerized dock facilities at Port Elizabeth. Since 1985 the harbor, as part of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has seen a steady increase in the volume of containerized exports. Highly industrialized, Elizabeth makes furnaces, plastics, chemicals, metal and food products, tea, paperboard boxes, and pharmaceuticals. A campus of Union College is in the city. The Goethals Bridge (1928) links Elizabeth with Staten Island, N.Y., and Newark International Airport is nearby. Since the 1980s the Jersey Gardens Mall and other developments have made Elizabeth a retailing center.

The area was purchased (1664) from the Delaware and called Elizabethtown. From 1668 to 1682, Elizabeth borough served as the meeting place of the New Jersey assembly. Chartered as the town of Elizabeth in 1740, it was the scene of several Revolutionary clashes; many buildings were burned (1780). Among surviving older buildings are the 18th-century Elias Boudinot House and the 17th-century Nathaniel Bonnell House. Early industries were tanning and brewing. In the 19th cent., Elizabeth's proximity to New York City and the coming of the railroad stimulated great industrial expansion, especially in shipbuilding, machine production, and oil refining. Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr lived at times in Elizabeth.

Longford, Elizabeth, 1906-2002, British author. Born Elizabeth Harman, she married (1931) Frank Pakenham, later (1961) earl of Longford. She was educated at Oxford, lectured for the Workers Education Association (1929-35), and was an unsuccessful Labour candidate for Parliament (1935 and 1950). A long-time writer for the Daily Express and the Sunday Times, she was also an excellent biographer and historian. Her chief works are Jameson's Raid (1960), Victoria (1964), and Wellington (2 vol., 1969-72). She continued to write about royals and politicians well into her 90s. Five of her children became writers: the journalist Catherine Longford, the novelist Rachel Billington, the biographer Antonia Fraser, the poet Judith Kazantzis, and the historian Thomas Pakenham.
Hardwick, Elizabeth, 1916-2007, American literary critic, novelist, and short-story writer, b. Lexington, Ky.; grad Univ. of Kentucky (B.A., 1938; M.A., 1939). She moved (1939) to New York City, where she studied at Columbia and soon became a member of a circle of prominent urban intellectuals. Early associated with the Partisan Review, she was one of the founders (1962) of the New York Review of Books and was an editor of it and frequent contributor to it and to the New Yorker. Insightful, sophisticated, witty, and often acerbic, her essays were collected in A View of My Own: Essays in Literature and Society (1962); Seduction and Betrayal: Women and Literature (1974), a brilliant study of female literary characters and of such writers as Virginia Woolf, the Brontës, and Sylvia Plath; Bartleby in Manhattan and Other Essays (1983); and Sight-Readings: American Fictions (1998), critical portraits of such writers as Margaret Fuller, Henry James, Gertrude Stein, and various contemporaries. She also wrote a critical biography of Herman Melville (2000) and edited The Selected Letters of William James (1961) and a work on American women writers (1977). Her three novels, which are at least partially autobiographical, are The Ghostly Lover (1945), The Simple Truth (1955), and the highly acclaimed Sleepless Nights (1979), a book of memories portrayed in evocative vignettes. Her fiction also includes numerous short stories. Hardwick was married (1949-72) to the poet Robert Lowell.
Patterson, Elizabeth, 1785-1879, American wife of Jérôme Bonaparte, b. Baltimore. On a visit to America, Jérôme Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, met and married her (1803). Jérôme was a minor, and Napoleon refused to recognize the marriage. When Jérôme returned (1805) to France, his wife was forbidden to land and went to England, where her son, Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, was born. Napoleon issued (1806) a state decree of annulment for his brother, and Elizabeth Patterson was given a large annual pension.

See E. L. Didier, Life and Letters of Mme Bonaparte (1879); C. E. N. Macartney and J. G. Dorrance, The Bonapartes in America (1939); S. Mitchell, A Family Lawsuit (1958).

Barrett, Elizabeth: see Browning, Elizabeth Barrett.
Barry, Elizabeth, 1658-1713, English actress. She gained entrance to the stage through the patronage of the earl of Rochester. From the time of her appearances at the Theatre Royal (1682-95) until her last performance at the Haymarket in 1710, she was Betterton's leading lady and reigned as the greatest tragic actress of the Restoration stage. She created the heroines in the tragedies of Thomas Otway, who all his life nourished a hopeless love for her.
Barton, Elizabeth, 1506?-1534, English prophet, called the Maid of Kent or the Nun of Kent. She was a domestic servant who, after a period of illness, began (c.1525) to go into trances and to utter prophecies, which were claimed to be of divine origin. She entered a convent in Canterbury, and, under the influence of Edward Bocking, her prophecies became increasingly dangerous politically. She foretold dire consequences to King Henry VIII should he divorce Katharine of Aragón and marry Anne Boleyn. Bocking probably hoped to stir an uprising against the king, but his protégée was arrested (1533) and brought to confess herself an impostor. She and her accomplices were put to death.

See biography by A. Neame (1971); study by E. J. Devereux (1966).

Jolley, Elizabeth (Monica Elizabeth Jolley), 1923-2007, Australian novelist, b. Birmingham, England. A nurse during World War II, she immigrated to Western Australia in 1959. Although she had written since childhood, her first book, Five Acre Virgin and Other Stories, did not appear until 1976; several other short-story volumes were later published. With her first novel, Palomino (1980), Jolley succeeded in combining a rather brooding traditional style with an assertion of feminist concerns. She continued in this vein in later novels, writing of human eccentricity and alienation, often with a dark humor. These works include Miss Peabody's Inheritance (1983), Mr. Scobie's Riddle (1983), Foxybaby (1986), The Sugar Mother (1988), My Father's Moon (1989), Cabin Fever (1991), The Orchard Thieves (1995), and The Accomodating Spouse (1999). Fellow Passengers, a volume of her collected stories, was published in 1997.

See C. Lurie, ed., Central Mischief: Elizabeth Jolley on Writing, Her Past and Herself (1992); C. Lurie, Learning to Dance: Elizabeth Jolley: Her Life and Work (2006); P. Salzman, Elizabeth Jolley's Fictions (1993); H. Thomson, Bio-fictions: Brian Matthews, Drusilla Modjeska, and Elizabeth Jolley (1994).

Farnese, Elizabeth: see Elizabeth Farnese.
Woodville, Elizabeth, 1437-92, queen consort of Edward IV of England. She was the daughter of Richard Woodville (later the 1st Earl Rivers). Her first husband, Sir John Grey, was killed fighting on the Lancastrian side at the battle of St. Albans (1461) in the Wars of the Roses. By him she had two sons, Thomas, 1st marquess of Dorset, and Richard. Edward IV married her in secret in 1464, partly because the powerful Richard Neville, earl of Warwick, had other marriage plans for him and partly because of Elizabeth's Lancastrian connections. The marriage was soon made public, however, and Elizabeth's large family received numerous royal favors. At the death (1483) of Edward IV, Richard, duke of Gloucester (later Richard III), seized custody of the young Edward V, Elizabeth's eldest son by the late king, and destroyed the power of the Woodvilles (Elizabeth's brother the 2d Earl Rivers and son Richard Grey were executed). The queen mother again took sanctuary in Westminster and soon surrendered her second son by Edward, Richard, duke of York, to Gloucester. He then placed both boys in the Tower of London and declared them illegitimate, asserting that Elizabeth's marriage to Edward was voided by a precontract of marriage on Edward's part. (The boys were subsequently murdered.) After Henry VII seized the throne from Richard, he married (1486) Elizabeth's eldest daughter, who was also named Elizabeth.
Bishop, Elizabeth, 1911-79, American poet, b. Worcester, Mass., grad. Vassar, 1934. During the 1950s and 60s she lived in Brazil, eventually returning to her native New England, where she taught at Harvard (1970-77). Her first volume of poetry, North and South (1946), was reprinted with additions as North and South—A Cold Spring (1955; Pulitzer Prize). Her poetic vision is penetrating and detached; her style is subtle yet conversational. Without straining for novelty, she finds symbolic significance in objects and events quietly observed and scrupulously described. Among her other works are her Complete Poems (1979), The Collected Prose (1984), Geography III (1985); several travel books, notably Questions of Travel (1965) and Brazil (1967); and the posthumously published Edger Allan Poe & the Juke-Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts and Fragments (2006). With Emanuel Brasil she edited An Anthology of Twentieth Century Brazilian Poetry (1972) and she also translated the works of several Brazilian poets.


See her One Art: Letters, selected correspondence ed. by R. Giroux (1994); T. Travisano and S. Hamilton, ed., Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell (2008); biographies by A. Stevenson (1966), B. C. Millier (1993), and G. Fountain and P. Brazeau (1994); C. L. Oliveira, Rare and Commonplace Flowers: The Story of Elizabeth Bishop and Lota de Macedo Soares (2002); studies by R. D. Parker (1988), T. Travisano (1988), B. Costello (1991), L. Goldensohn (1992), C. Doreski (1993), S. McCabe (1994), M. M. Lombardi (1995), A. Colwell (1997), A. Stevenson (1998), and X. Zhou (1999).

Blackwell, Elizabeth, 1821-1910, American physician, b. England; sister of Henry Brown Blackwell. She was the first woman in the United States to receive a medical degree, which was granted (1849) to her by Geneva Medical College (then part of Geneva College, early name of Hobart). With her sister, Emily Blackwell (1826-1910) who was also a doctor, and Marie Zackrzewska, she founded (1857) the New York Infirmary for Women and Children, which was expanded in 1868 to include a Women's College for the training of doctors, the first of its kind. In 1869, Dr. Blackwell settled in England, where she became (1875) professor of gynecology at the London School of Medicine for Women, which she had helped to establish. She wrote Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women (1895) and many other books and papers on health and education.

See biographies by A. McFerran (1966) and D. C. Wilson (1970).

Carter, Elizabeth, 1717-1806, English poet and translator. Under the pen name Eliza she contributed for years to the Gentleman's Magazine. One of the group of 18th-century women known as the bluestockings, she was a friend of Johnson, Burke, Reynolds, and Horace Walpole. Collections of her poems appeared in 1738 and 1762. Her translations of Epictetus were published in 1758.

See her memoirs (1807); study by A. C. C. Gaussen (1906); Bluestocking Letters (ed. by R. B. Johnson, 1926).

Wetherall, Elizabeth: see Warner, Susan Bogert.
David, Elizabeth, 1914-92, English food writer, b. Elizabeth Gwynne. Daughter of a wealthy Conservative MP, she cut her culinary eyeteeth in Paris while studying at the Sorbonne, then developed her literary style and taste for fine food while living in the south of France, in Italy, on a Greek island, and in Egypt during World War II. She returned to an England that had suffered through wartime and postwar shortage and rationing, which made an already notoriously bland diet more dismal. David soon began a quiet culinary revolution. With wit, wisdom, and various cookery ingredients previously considered suspiciously foreign, she introduced the English to fresh, flavorful fare and a sensual approach to the art of eating. David's cornucopia of influential books, famous for their refined style and historical accuracy, include the pioneering A Book of Mediterranean Food (1949), French Country Cooking (1951), Italian Food (1954), French Provincial Cooking (1960), and the pieces collected in An Omelette and a Glass of Wine (1984). Her later works often concentrate on livening up traditional English fare. Posthumously published collections of her work are Harvest of the Cold Months (1995) and Is There a Nutmeg in the House? (2001).

See biographies by L. Chaney (1998) and A. Cooper (2000).

Drew, Elizabeth, 1935-, American journalist, b. Cincinnati. A deeply insightful analyst of the national political scene, she was the Washington correspondent for two major U.S. magazines, the Atlantic (1967-73) and New Yorker (1973-92). Her account of the Watergate affair was published as Washington Journal (1975). She has also written ten other books, including Politics and Money (1983), On the Edge: The Clinton Presidency (1994), Showdown: The Struggle between the Gingrich Congress and the Clinton White House (1996), The Corruption of American Politics (1999), and Citizen McCain (2002).
Kemble, Elizabeth: see under Kemble, Roger.
Kenny, Elizabeth, 1886-1952, Australian nurse, b. New South Wales, grad. St. Ursula's College, Australia, 1902. She became "Sister" Kenny as a first lieutenant nurse (1914-18) in the Australian army. While caring for poliomyelitis victims in her homeland, she developed a method using hot, moist applications in conjunction with passive exercise. She came to the United States in 1940 to demonstrate her techniques, which were used extensively with good results. She was coauthor with John F. Pohl of The Kenny Concept of Infantile Paralysis and Its Treatment (1942); with Martha Ostenso she wrote the autobiographical And They Shall Walk (1943).

See biography by H. J. Levine (1954).

Elizabeth or Elisabeth is the Greek form Ελισ(σ)άβετ Elis(s)avet of the Hebrew Elisheva, meaning "my God is an oath," "my God is abundance," "God's promise," or "oath of God." For more information about the name, see Elizabeth (given name)

Saints (from whom other Elizabeths are namesakes)

Elizabeth is also the name of:


Queens of England and the United Kingdom

Belgian princess and queens consort

Many queens of various countries

Other royal women


Seventeen ships of the British Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Elizabeth.




See also various places named Elizabethtown.



Characters in Films

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