|Dimensions||Image 130 x 95 mm vignette, Plate 228 x 140 mm, Sheet 244 x 155 mm|
A half length portrait of Barbara Hofland from 'La Belle Assemblée'
Barbara Hofland (née Wreakes) (1770 - 1844) was an author of 66 moral stories for children, poetry, and schoolbooks. She started writing for her local paper and started a milliner's shop, which she sold it when she married the businessman Thomas Bradshawe Hoole in 1796. She became a widow two years later . She went to live with her mother-in-law in Attercliffe, and supported herself and her infant son partly from generous subscriptions given for a book of her poetry. In 1809 she opened a girls' boarding school at Grove House, Harrogate and developed it as a ladies' finishing school, a forerunner to what is now Harrogate College, but she kept it only until 1811, when she moved to London. In 1810 Barbara Wreaks married the landscape artist Thomas Christopher Hofland (1777–1843). Although her new husband had a good local reputation and had exhibited at the Royal Academy, his wife's writings were to remain the main source of family income. Most of her works depict the struggles of Christian families against adversity. Her most popular novel was Son of Genius about an impulsive artist. It had been reprinted at least 14 times in Engliand by 1841, as well as nine times in America, and translations into French and other languages.