Literature and music and science have been found this year amazingly prolific in centenary commemorations of their great exemplars, as a leading article in the “Times,” for April, 1909, has lately reminded us. Yet the death in 1809 of Anna Seward, who “for many years held a high rank in the annals of British literature,” to quote the words of Sir Walter Scott, has generally passed unnoticed. It is the aim of this book to resuscitate interest in the poetess, and in the literary circle over which she reigned supreme.
, and that her literary abilities were of no common kind.
Dr. Darwin (who was a native of Nottinghamshire) in either the year 1756 or 1757, arrived in Lichfield to practise as a Physician there, where he resided until 1781. Darwin was a â€œvotary to poetry,â€ a philosopher, and a clever though an eccentric man. He wrote â€œThe Botanic Garden,â€ which Anna Seward pronounced to be â€œa string of poetic brilliants,â€ and in which book Horace Walpole noted a passage â€œthe most sublime in any author or in any of the few languages with which I am acquainted.â€ He inserted in it, as his own work, some lines of Anna Sewardâ€™s,â€”which was ungallant, to say the least. Anna Sewardâ€™s mother repressed her early attempts at poetry, so for a time she contented herself with reading â€œour finest poets,â€ and with &aci