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Mathilde Blind (Mathilde Cohen) (1841-1896), Poet and biographer
Sitter in 1 portrait
Born in Germany, Mathilde took the name of her stepfather Karl Blind who came to London in 1852 as a political refugee, and whose Hampstead household was a meeting place for other refugees such as Garibaldi and Mazzini. Her brother's suicide in 1866, following his failed assassination attempt on Bismark deeply affected her. Blind's upbringing led her to challenge religious and political orthodoxies throughout her life, and she became an advocate of women's rights. She published her first collection of poems in 1867 including works such as The Heather on Fire (1886), a denunciation of the highland clearances, and The Ascent of Man (1889). She also wrote an esteemed biography of George Eliot.