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Sophia Lee

(1750-1824), Harriet Lee (1757-1851) Novelists and dramatists, daughter of John Lee, an actor, were the authors of various dramatic pieces and novels. By far their most memorable work was The Canterbury Tales, 5 volumes (1797-1805) which, with the exception of two, The Young Lady's and The Clergyman's, were all by Harriet. The most powerful of them, Kruitzner, fell into the hands of Byron in his boyhood, and made so profound an impression upon him that, in 1821, he dramatised it under the title of Werner, or the Inheritance. The authoress also adapted it for the stage as The Three Strangers. The tales are in general remarkable for the ingenuity of their plots. Harriet lived to the age of 94, preserving to the last her vigour of mind and powers of conversation. Godwin made her an offer of marriage to which, however, his religious opinions presented an insuperable barrier. Sophia's chief work was The Chapter of Accidents, a comedy, which had a great run, the profits of which enabled the sisters to start a school at Bath, which proved very successful, and produced for them a competence on which they were able to retire in their later years.

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