Anne and Annabella Plumptre
Anne Plumptre (1760-1818) was a writer and, at times, a translator, originally from Norwich, the same city that her friend, Amelia Alderson Opie, was from. Anne and her sister, Annabella (1769-1838), were the talented daughters of Robert Plumptre, prebendary of Norwich and president of Queens' College, Cambridge. They received excellent educations and began contributing to a variety of forms of writing in the early 1790s, beginning in Norwich. They both acted in Amelia Alderson's play, Adelaide, with the prologue written by James Plumptre, their brother. They moved into translating through the influence of another Norwich literary figure, William Taylor. The two sisters also moved, as did Alderson, among the radical Dissenters in London who sympathized with the French Revolution and political reform in England. By the mid-1790s, they were moving among many in the Godwin circle, including Dyer, Holcroft, and Thelwall. Anne's novel, Antoinette (1796) appeared anonymously the same year as Hays's Emma Courtney. Her second novel was The Rector's Son (1798), which appeared the same year as her sister's novel, The Mountain Cottage, published by William Lane's Minerva Press (the latter was a translation of a German novel). Translations of works by Kotzebue and Iffland followed. Annabella turned more toward teaching and didactic writing thereafter, but Anne continued to move in literary circles. She traveled to France in 1802 with Amelia Opie and visited with Helen Maria Williams while in Paris. Anne continued to find works to translate, both in French and German, including several travel narratives, including some narratives of her own travels. In 1818 the two sisters collaborated on a translation of Tales of Wonder, a collection from various sources. Neither sister married.