Lindsay, Maria [Mary ]
- Derek B. Scott
(b Wimbledon, May 15, 1827; d Betteshanger, Kent, April 3, 1898). English composer. Almost nothing is known of the personal life of ‘Miss M. Lindsay’, as she chose to be described. She married the Rev. John Worthington Bliss in 1858. In the early 1850s she became the first woman to achieve commercial success as a songwriter; the London publisher Robert Cocks obtained an exclusive contract. Her songs were tailored to the requirements of amateur music-making in the home, and often consist of strophic settings of admired contemporary poets: Excelsior of 1854 (H.W. Longfellow) and Home they brought her warrior dead of 1858 (Tennyson). She also composed sacred songs which took as their model the recitative and aria of contemporary English oratorio; Absalom (1868) was one of her most highly-regarded compositions in this vein.J.D. Brown and S.S. Stratton: British Musical Biography (Birmingham, 1897) D. Scott: The Singing Bourgeois...