1853 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anne Finch

Frederic Rowton, in Female Poets of Great Britain (1853) 103.



Anne, Countess of Winchelsea, was the daughter of Sir William Kingsmill, of Sidmonton, in the county of Southampton. She was Maid of Honour to the Duchess of York, second wife of James the Second, and married Heneage, Earl of Winchelsea. She died in 1720.

Her poems have been highly admired for their simplicity and naturalness. She seems to have been the precursor of the school of Cowper. "It is remarkable," says Wordsworth, "that excepting The Noctural Reverie (one of Lady Winchelsea's poems), and the Windsor Forest of Pope, the poetry of the period intervening between the publications of Paradise Lost and The Seasons does not contain a single new image of external nature."