Eliza Cook entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
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Eliza Cook was a highly popular poet, journalist, and editor of the mid-nineteenth century, whose songs in particular circulated very widely: set to music, performed in drawing-rooms, reprinted in single sheets, and collected in manuscript. Her verse often seems to speak for the middle-class majority: patriotic, nostalgic, conservative about specific issues and in love with vague ideas of chivalry, valour, and sacrifice. In other poems, however, some written for specific occasions, she reflects a concern for the underprivileged or oppressed. Her prose journalism, while understood by some to presage the format of the ladies' magazine, also manifests an ongoing commitment to the "levelling up" Bibliographic Citation link. of the poorer classes and the improvement of the lot of women. Understood in her day as an influential social reformer with a Journal boasting a very impressive circulation, Eliza Cook has disappeared from discussions of working-class and Chartist writing.
24 December 1812 EC was born at 6 London Road, Newington, London.  Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
1837 EC published in the Weekly Dispatch her best-loved sentimental poem, "The Old Arm-Chair", about the death of her mother. Bibliographic Citation link.
5 May 1849-25 November 1854 EC edited and wrote much of Eliza Cook's Journal, a wide-ranging middle-class feminist weekly. Bibliographic Citation link.
23 September 1889 EC died at her home at Beech House, 23 Thornton Hill, Wimbledon, Surrey. Bibliographic Citation link.
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