Martha Hale entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
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Martha Hale had the habit all her adult life (during the later eighteenth century) of writing poems about her closest concerns, both private and public. The generic range of her mostly occasional poetry is wide, from political odes to love poetry and fables. Late in life she collected her verse in a printed volume, which is of interest both in showing the wide range of genres and topics open at this date to the woman poet, and because of her steady and independent-minded attention to issues of gender.
15 March 1728 Martha Rigby (later MH) was christened on this date at St Mary's Church, Stoke Newington, north of London, so she must have been born shortly before it. Bibliographic Citation link.
1749 MH wrote the earliest-dated poem in her collection, an ode addressed to Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, apparently seeking military preferment for the man she married the following year. Bibliographic Citation link.
13 October 1786 MH composed what is from a feminist point of view one of her most interesting poems, "To Mrs. Moore, on the birth of the first child ever born in Lambeth Palace". Bibliographic Citation link.
By August 1800 MH became a published author when she printed by subscription (for charity) a volume entitled Poetical Attempts. Bibliographic Citation link.
16 June 1803 MH died at the age of seventy-one. Bibliographic Citation link.
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