Hatfield, Sarah, fl. 1801—1833
by Benjamin Colbert
Nothing is known about Sarah Hatfield’s birth place and parentage, and little enough about her life. Her published works appear invariably under the name of ‘S. Hatfield’ or ‘Miss Hatfield’, and we know her first name only from an advertisement for the third edition of her The Theology and Mythology of the Ancients Pagans, published in the 3 January 1833 issue of The Morning Post. Her first work was a novel, She Lives in Hopes; or, Caroline (1801), and the full title indicates that she then resided in Manchester. The book is dedicated to the Princess of Orange or Nassau (Frederika Sophia Wilhelmina, 1751-1821) and suggests an earlier period of time spent in the Hague where Hatfield ‘admired ... [her] virtues’. Hatfield also mentions three other patrons, the ‘late countess of Wasner’ [unidentified] and ‘general Baron and Baroness de Constant Villars’ [Guillaume-Anne de Constant Rebecque Villars (1750-1838) – a cousin of Benjamin Constant – and his wife, Françoise-Godardine-Constance de Lynden-Hoevelacken (1761-1831)]. Hatfield’s relationship to these people remains conjectural.
Her metier appears to have been female educational writings in various genres. After her novel, she published Letters on the Importance of the Female Sex, with Observations on Their Manners and Education (1803), followed by Theology and Mythology (1813), subtitled Written Particularly for Female Education. Her last book, Terre Incognita of Lincolnshire (1816), includes the parenthetical Written (Purposely for the Improvement of Youth) in its full title. From (and perhaps before) 1825, she appears to have worked as a governess for the Sheffield family, based at Normanby Hall in North Lincolnshire (Lammin).
Hatfield, Sarah. She Lives in Hopes; or, Caroline. A Narration Founded upon Facts. 2 vols. Wilmington: Bonsal and Niles, 1802. Print.
The Morning Post, no. 19367 (Thurs., 3 Jan. 1833): . Gale Databases: 19th Century British Library Newspapers: Part II. Web. 22 Oct. 1814.
Lammin, W. H. ‘Walls of Troy’. Notes & Queries 5.130, ser. 2 (26 June 1858): 522. Print.
|The Terra Incognita of Lincolnshire||1816|