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Louisa Stuart Costello (October 9, 1799 – April 24, 1870), author, was born in Paris, France, near the Seine River (per her death certificate).

She had no true home, but wandered place to place staying with friends and acquaintances. Her brother Dudley Costello (b. 1803 in Sussex d. 1865 from liver failure) drank himself to death after the death of his wife.

She wrote over 100 texts, articles, poems, songs and knew such people as Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, Lord Byron, Thomas Moore. She was a poet, historian, journalist, painter and novelist. Her father was Colonel James Francis Costello, who died in April 1814 while fighting Napoleon.

She did not live chiefly in Paris, in fact she did not return to France until after her mother sent for her in 1815/18 and lived chiefly in Paris, where she was a miniature-painter. In 1815 she published The Maid of the Cyprus Isle, etc.

She also wrote books of travel, which were very popular, as were her novels, chiefly founded on French history. Another work, published in 1835, is Specimens of the Early Poetry of France. She died in Boulogne sur Mer, France of mouth cancer.


An example of her work - an early expression of anti-war sentiment:-

On Reading the Account of the Battle of Waterloo

OH! who can listen with delight
To tales of battles won?
And who can hear without affright
The news of war begun.
Oh! when the glory does their hearts inspire,
Did they reflect what woes some bosoms fire?
Oh did their thoughts fly to the battle plain,
And mark the writhing agony and pain,
And hear the cries, and see the bleeding slain !
Ah! sure no more their hearts with joy would bound,
But shrink in horror from the vict'ry's sound.
While thro' the streets the news of conquest spread,
Each parent listens with consuming dread.
Those shouts of triumph breath'd from every tongue,
Some anxious heart with agony has wrung.
The meanest soldier sunk to death's repose,
Has cuas'd some breast to fell affliction's throes:
How can they bear each joyful shout to hear,
Which still renews remembrances so dear!
Oh! long may battle's terrors cease!
Be war and vengeance fled:
That Europe, wrapt in lasting peace,
May rest her laurell'd head!

This article incorporates public domain text from : Cousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London, J. M. Dent & Sons; New York, E. P. Dutton.

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