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Elizabeth Bentley entry: Overview screen.
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Elizabeth Bentley was a labouring-class poet of the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, who provided with her poems an account of her life designed to raise patrons. Her work was sufficiently religious and submissive in tone to go down well with her social superiors, though she lauded independence and favoured abolition of the slave trade.
Milestones
Shortly before 26 November 1767 EB was born in Norwich, her parents' only child; this was the date of her christening. Bibliographic Citation link.
1785 The teenage, working-class EB, whose father had died two years previously, "discovered in myself an inclination for writing verses"; from this year come the earliest on which she placed a date. Bibliographic Citation link.
23 July 1790 EB dated the account of her life which was published both in the prospectus for her Genuine Poetical Compositions, which appeared this year, and in the volume itself. Bibliographic Citation link.
By August 1791 EB published by subscription, with her name, Genuine Poetical Compositions on Various Subjects, dedicated to William Drake, MP. Bibliographic Citation link.
13 April 1839 EB died at an almshouse for the elderly poor called Doughty's Hospital, in Norwich, in her early seventies. Bibliographic Citation link.
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