1855 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anne Finch

Sarah Josepha Hale, Woman's Record; or, Sketches of all Distinguished Women (1852; 1855) 554.



ANNE, COUNTESS OF WINCHELSEA was the daughter of Sir William Kingsmill, of Sidmonton, in the county of Southampton, England. She was maid of honour to the duchess of York, second wife of James II., and married Heneage, second son of Heneage, earl of Winchelsea, who afterwards succeeded to the title of earl of Winchelsea. She died August 5th, 1720, without leaving any children. Wordsworth speaks highly of her poem called "A Nocturnal Reverie." Another of her poems was addressed to "The Spleen." A collection of the countess's poems was printed in London, together with a tragedy, never acted, entitled "Aristomenes." Mr. Chambers remarks of her poetry, and it should not be forgotten that she was the first Englishwoman who attempted to ascend the Parnassian heights — "Her lines are smoothly versified, and possess a tone of calm and contemplative feeling."