Ellis Cornelia Knight
Ellis Cornelia Knight was a writer and painter who socialized with many of the notable personalities of the late reign of George III: Horatio Nelson, Lord and Lady Hamilton, the Prince Regent, the Princess of Wales, and the Princess Charlotte.

Miss Knight's father had a long career in the British Navy and was knighted by King George III; when he died he was Rear Admiral of the White. Her mother was a well educated woman known for her skill at conversation.

Ellis went to London College where she learned Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 and other European languages.

Upon her father's death Miss Knight and her mother were left with only a small income; to make the most of it they moved to the Continent. They were living in Naples in 1798 when word came of Nelson's victory at the Battle of the Nile. They participated in the estatic celebrations of that victory when Nelson arrived in Naples, and became good friends of the Hamiltons and Lord Nelson. After Mrs. Knight died in 1799 Miss Knight was invited to accompany the Hamiltons and Lord Nelson on their return journey to England. During this trip she became increasingly uneasy about the warmth of the relationship between Lady Hamilton and Lord Nelson. Once back in England Miss Knight settled independently, writing and making frequent visit to friends.

Miss Knight published 5 works in her lifetime: in 1790:"Dinarbas", a continuation of a work by Samuel Johnson; in 1792 "Flaminius" a novel in letters about Rome; in 1805: "A Description of Latium or La Campagna di Roma" with her own etchings; in 1812 "Translations from the German in Prose and Verse"; and in 1833 "Sir Guy de Lusignan, a Romance". At her death she left behind an incomplete autobiography and a journal.

In 1805 her reputation as a learned author of highly respectable character earned her an invitation to join the household of Queen Charlotte. Miss Knight was with the Queen as the King's mental capacity declined and a Regency was established. In 1812 she became Companion to Princess Charlotte, holding this post until the Regent fired her in 1814 for imagined lapses of judgement.

In 1818 she became a teacher of English, literature, science and fine arts to the young Massimo Taparelli, the Marquis d'Azeglio, who was an important Italian writer, painter, patriot and politic. He mentioned Ellis in his d'Azeglio's Memoirs work, in chapter XIV where d'Azeglio met E.C. Knight in 1818 to Castelgandolfo, book published in 1867.

She died in 1837.

External links

"The Autobiography of Miss Knight, Lady Companion to Princess Charlotte", edited by Roger Fulford. 1960.
  • Frogmore Lodge press where Ellis Cornelia Knight taught and produced books for Princess Charlotte

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