1858 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anne Finch

Samuel Austin Allibone, in Critical Dictionary of English Literature (1858-71; 1882) 1:506.



Anne Finch, d. 1720, Countess of Winchelsea, was the daughter of Sir William Kingsmill, of Sidmonton, Southampton, and wife of Henage, Earl of Winchelsea. Miscellaneous Poems, on several occasions, Lon. 1713, 8vo. Among the pieces is a tragedy called Aristomines. Her best-known poem is The Atheist and the Acorn. Pope addressed some verses to her, which elicited an "elegant replication," printed in Cibber's Lives, and prefixed to an old edit. of his works. Her poem upon the Spleen, pub. in Gildon's Miscellany, 1701, 8vo, was, with several other of her pieces, inserted by Dr. Birch in the General Biographical Dictionary, by permission of the Countess of Hertford, who owned the originals.

"It is remarkable that, excepting a passage or two in the Windsor Forest of Pope, and some delightful pictures in the poems of Lady Winchelsea, the poetry of the period intervening between the publication of Paradise Lost and the Seasons does not contain a single new image of external nature." — Wordsworth.

The extravagance of this assertion appears to us to be manifest. Had Mr. Wordsworth perused and remembered all the poetry between Paradise Lost and The Seasons?