Alfred H. Miles, ed. Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.
Critical and Biographical Essay by Alfred H. Miles
Helen Selina, Lady Dufferin Sheridan (18071867)
HELEN SELINA SHERIDAN, afterwards Lady Dufferin, was the eldest daughter of Thomas Sheridan, and the granddaughter of Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Elizabeth Linley. Born in 1807, she spent her early life at Hampton Court Palace, where, after the death of her father in 1817, her mother found asylum for herself and her children. Her younger sister, Caroline Elizabeth, afterwards became famous as the Hon. Mrs. Norton, and a third sister, Jane Georgina, as The Queen of Beauty, and the Duchess of Somerset. These three remarkable sisters inherited a large measure of the wit and beauty which was characteristic of both their parents and their grandparents, and were known in society as The Three Graces. Helen Selina, at the age of eighteen, married Mr. Price Blackwood, who succeeded to the title of Dufferin in 1839, and died in 1841. Lady Dufferin does not seem to have had the strong literary impulse of her sister Caroline, and happily for herself lacked the motive of necessity which drew greater efforts from the Hon. Mrs. Nortons pen, but she wrote songs which have been sung wherever the language is spoken, and which give lyric expression to some of the tenderest emotions of the Irish heart. Terences Farewell and The Irish Emigrant have been among the most popular songs of the century. Sung by herself they won their way in the brilliant society with which she mingled, and found echo and re-echo outside that charmed circle in countless hearts and homes. Her amiability of temperament and sweetness of manner exercised an irresistible charm upon her contemporaries, a charm which was rendered the more fascinating by the natural wit with which it was associated.
Lady Dufferin was the mother of the present Marquis, whose distinguished services to the State have won for him universal honour, and who is known to literature by his Letters from High Latitudes, and other works. Later in life, she married Lord Gifford, who only survived the marriage two months. She died in the month of June 1867.