1798 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ann Yearsley

David Rivers, in Literary Memoirs of Living Authors (1798) 2:400.



Ann Yearsley, originally a Milk-maid of the City of Bristol. Her poetical talent was discovered by Mrs. Hannah More, who solicited for her the protection of Mrs. Montagu, in a prefatory Letter prefixed to a collection of her poems, published (in quarto) in 1785. Two years after this, Mrs. Yearsley published another collection of Poems, in quarto; and has, since that time, written a Poem on the Inhumanity of the Slave-trade; Stanzas of Woe; Earl Goodwin, an historical play, performed at Bristol; and the Royal Captives, a novel of considerable merit, in four volumes, duodecimo. She has experienced great encouragement from the Public in her literary undertakings; but has unfortunately had a dispute with her original patroness which was carried, on both sides, to a disgusting excess. Her poems, like those of all unlettered poets, abound in imagery, metaphor and personification; but breathe the genuine spirit of poetry. She is a remarkable instance of the observation "poeta nascitur."