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8 December 1994
The Poems of Anna Letitia​ Barbauld 
edited by William McCarthy and Elizabeth Kraft.
Georgia, 399 pp., £58.50, June 1994, 0 8203 1528 1
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... Once regarded as among the most distinguished poets in England, admired by Johnson, envied by Goldsmith, praised by Wordsworth, and read by everyone, AnnaLetitiaBarbauld has this last century or two thoroughly sunk into oblivion. Until recently, all that was remembered about her was an anecdote in Coleridge’s Table Talk, in which she figured, ingloriously, as the ...

Look on the Bright Side

Seamus Perry: Anna Letitia Barbauld

25 February 2010
Anna Letitia BarbauldVoice of the Enlightenment 
by William McCarthy.
Johns Hopkins, 725 pp., £32, December 2008, 978 0 8018 9016 1
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... Until 15 or 20 years ago most students of English literature would have known one thing about AnnaLetitiaBarbauld, which was her appearance in a droll anecdote told by Samuel Taylor Coleridge towards the end of his life and recorded in the posthumous volume of his Table Talk. ‘Mrs Barbauld told me that the ...

Miss Joy and Mrs Hayter

Freya Johnston: Anna Letitia Barbauld

27 September 2018
Eighteen Hundred and Eleven: Poetry, Protest and Economic Crisis 
by E.J. Clery.
Cambridge, 326 pp., £75, June 2017, 978 1 107 18922 5
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... She​ started off with A and ended up at B: born in 1743 as Miss Aikin, AnnaLetitia died in 1825 as Mrs Barbauld. Poet, editor, biographer, essayist, pamphleteer and children’s writer, she was once known only for finding ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ improbable. Many of her poems were lost: one ...

‘I can scarce hold my pen’

Clare Bucknell: Samuel Richardson’s Letters

14 June 2017
The Correspondence of Samuel Richardson with Lady Bradshaigh and Lady Echlin 
edited by Peter Sabor.
Cambridge, three vols, 1200 pp., £275, November 2016, 978 1 107 14552 8
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... they missed her: in her telling, Knowsley becomes the sinister and claustrophobic Harlowe Place, filled with hostile family members; Richardson takes the place of Clarissa’s intimate confidante, Anna Howe; and ‘write I must, or die’ is the novel’s tragic possibility scrawled casually as sentimental hyperbole.In other letters, she drew more explicit – and clumsier – parallels. Her ...

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