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Evelyn Beatrice Hall
Born (1868-09-28)28 September 1868
"Shooter's Hill, "Kent, England
Died 13 April 1956(1956-04-13) (aged 87)
"Wadhurst, "East Sussex, England
Pen name Stephen G. Tallentyre
Occupation Writer

Evelyn Beatrice Hall (28 September 1868 – 13 April 1956),[1][2][3][Note 1] who wrote under the pseudonym S. G. Tallentyre, was an English writer best known for her biography of "Voltaire entitled The Life of Voltaire, first published in 1903. She also wrote "The Friends of Voltaire, which she completed in 1906.

In The Friends of Voltaire, Hall wrote the phrase: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"[4] (which is often misattributed to Voltaire himself) as an illustration of Voltaire's beliefs.[5][6][7] Hall's quotation is often cited to describe the principle of "freedom of speech.


Personal life[edit]

Hall was born on 28 September 1868 in "Shooter's Hill, "Kent, the second of the four children of the Reverend William John Hall (1830–1910), "Minor Canon of St Paul's Cathedral, and Isabella Frances (née Cooper).[3][8] Her elder sister, Ethel Frances Hall (1865–1943), married the writer "Hugh Stowell Scott (pseudonym Henry Seton Merriman) in 1889.[9] Evelyn Hall was to become an important influence in the life of her brother-in-law, with whom she co-authored two volumes of short stories, From Wisdom Court (1893) and The Money-Spinner (1896).[10] Upon his death in 1903, Scott left £5,000 to Hall, writing that it was "in token of my gratitude for her continued assistance and literary advice, without which I should never have been able to have made a living by my pen."[11]

Death Certificate of Evelyn Beatrice Hall.

Hall never married, and died in "Wadhurst, "East Sussex, on 13 April 1956, aged 87.[Note 1]


All publications appeared under the name S. G. Tallentyre.


  1. ^ a b Sources which date Hall's death to 1919, such as Fred R. Shapiro's The Yale Book of Quotations, are in error. The confusion may have arisen because Hall published no further written work after 1919.


  1. ^ "Notices under the Trustee Act". The London Gazette (40786): 3084. 25 May 1956. Retrieved 30 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Wills and Probate 1858-1996". Gov.uk. Retrieved 30 April 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Cox, Homer T. (1967). Henry Seton Merriman (Twayne's English Authors Series). New York: Twayne Publishers. 
  4. ^ The Friends of Voltaire, p. 199.
  5. ^ Kinne, Burdette (1943), "Voltaire Never Said it!", Modern Language Notes, 58 (7): 534–535, "doi:10.2307/2911066, "JSTOR 2911066  – Article citing a letter dated 9 May 1939.
  6. ^ Boller, Jr., Paul F.; George, John (1989). They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 124–126. "ISBN "0-19-505541-1. 
  7. ^ Chapman, Bill (23 May 2005). "Voltaire Wrote..." Classroom Tools. Archived from the original on 8 May 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  8. ^ Venn, John; Venn, J.A., eds. (2011). Alumni Cantabrigienses: A Biographical List of All Known Students, Graduates and Holders of Office at the University of Cambridge, from the Earliest Times to 1900, Volume 2. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 205. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "Ethel Frances Hall". Cobbold Family History Trust. Archived from the original on 24 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Seccombe, Thomas; rev. Mills, Rebecca (2004). "Scott, Hugh Stowell (1862–1903)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. "doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35988. Retrieved 2 May 2015. ("registration required)
  11. ^ The Advertiser, (Adelaide, SA) March 09, 1904
  12. ^ "The life of Mirabeau : Tallentyre, S. G. (Stephen G.), 1868–1919 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Archive.org. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 

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