1855 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Helen Maria Williams

Sarah Josepha Hale, Woman's Record; or, Sketches of all Distinguished Women (1852; 1855) 553-54.



HELEN MARIA WILLIAMS was born, in 1762, in the north of England, and was ushered into public notice by Dr. Kippis, at the age of eighteen. Between 1782 and 1788, she published "Edwin and Eltrada," "An Ode to Peace," and other poems. In 1790 she settled in Paris, and became intimate with the most eminent of the Girondists, and, in 1794, was imprisoned, and nearly shared their fate. She escaped to Switzerland, but returned to Paris in 1796, and died there in 1827.

She wrote "Julia, a Novel," "Letters from France," "Travels in Switzerland," "A Narrative of Events in France," and "A Translation of Humbolt and Bonpland's Personal Narrative." Miss Williams possessed a strong mind, much historical acumen, and great industry, though her religious sentiments were not free from some errors of the period. As a poetess she had little more than some facility and the talent inseparable from a cultivated taste.