Mary Russell Mitford (1787-1855) was an English novelist and dramatist. Her writing has all the charm of unaffected spontaneous humour, combined with quick wit and literary skill. Her youthful ambition had been to be the greatest English poetess, and her first publications were poems in the manner of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Walter Scott. The prose, to which she was driven by domestic necessities, is more successful than her verse. The first series of Our Village sketches appeared in 1824.