Wolverhampton BTW

Louisa Stuart Costello

Costello, Louisa Stuart, 1799—1870

by Benjamin Colbert

Louisa Stuart Costello was born in Sussex, the daughter of Captain James Francis Costello (d. 1814/15) and Elizabeth Costello, née Tothridge (d. 1846). After her father's death, she moved with her mother to Paris where she began painting miniatures to help support her family, returning to London in 1820 where she continued this occupation with some success. She was also a poet; her book The Maid of the Cyprus Isle (1815) was followed by three more including her translations from the French, Specimens of the Early Poetry of France (1835).

She turned her frequent travels between the Continent and England in the 1820s and 1830s to account in her travel writings, beginning with A Summer among the Bocages (1840), followed by A Pilgrimage to Auvergne (1842), Béarn and the Pyrenees (1844), The Falls, Lakes, and Mountains of North Wales (1845), Venice and the Venetians (1845), and A Tour to and from Venice (1846). She also contributed travel sketches to periodicals, such as her 'Sketches of Legendary Cities' series in Bentley's Miscellany from October 1844 to October 1846.

In addition her prodigious literary output included historical novels, memoirs, and other writings. Her final years were spent in Boulogne.


Lyle, Teresa A. 'Louisa Stuart Costello'. Dictionary of Literary Biography. Vol. 166: British Travel Writers, 1837–1875. Ed. Barbara Brothers and Julia Gergits. Detroit,: Gale Research, 1996. 129-33. Print.

Mitchell, Rosemary. 'Costello, Louisa Stuart (1799–1870), miniature painter and author'. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 23 Sept. 2004. Web. 2 Oct. 2014. https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/6380


Title Published
A Summer amongst the Bocages and the Vines 1840

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