Phebe Gibbes

English novelist and early feminist (fl. 1764-1799; d. ca. 1805)

Phebe Gibbes (died 1805) was an 18th-century English novelist and early feminist. She authored twenty-two books between 1764 and 1790, and is best known for the novels The History of Mr. Francis Clive (1764), The Fruitless Repentance; or, the History of Miss Kitty Le Fever (1769), and The History of Miss Eliza Musgrove (1769). She received recent attention with the scholarly publication of Hartly House Calcutta (1789) in 2007.


  • If there are, as some tenets imply, a distinction of heavenly situations, will not this good-minded people occupy the first in rank; for nearest to the divine attributes of any thing you can have a conception of, is their kind-heartedness and probity.
    In a word, their manners are highly interesting, from their simplicity and liberal-mindedness; and I blush to feel how superior to all that Christianity can boast, of peace and goodwill towards men.
    ... I felt myself in danger of becoming a Braminate, though all the wealth of Indostan could not bribe me to become a Mahometan.
    • Phebe Gibbes,Hartly House, Calcutta (1789) Marshall, P.J. The British Discovery of Hinduism in the Eighteenth Century, Cambridge University Press, 1970. quoted from Jain, M. (editor) (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts. New Delhi: Ocean Books. Volume IV Chapter 2
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