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Felicia Hemans entry: Overview screen.
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Overview
Writing
Life
Writing and Life
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A major Romantic poet and the most popular woman poet (or 'poetess' as she and others expressed it) in English during the nineteenth century, Felicia Hemans published nineteen volumes of verse and two dramas. While most of her work was poetry—songs, lyric poetry, dramatic lyrics (arguably dramatic monologues), narrative poetry, and verse drama—she also published literary criticism, and some of her private letters survive. After her death she became in the mid-Victorian period a household name and a staple for memorizing as the popular educational practice at home and in the colonies. Her evocation of the domestic affections and the values associated with English national valour and imperial strength resonated strongly with her contemporaries, but in the late Victorian period her work fell out of favour. Recently interest has revived in her as a female voice within Romanticism, and as a vehicle for bourgeois, domestic, and British hegemony that nevertheless also critiques the very values and ideals for which her work became a byword. Recognition of her as a major poetic voice has accompanied a substantial shift in the understanding of British Romanticism.
Milestones
25 September 1793 Felicia Dorothea Browne, later FH, was born at 118 Duke Street, Liverpool. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
1825 FH's The Forest Sanctuary, And Other Poems was published; her famous poem "Casabianca" first appeared as one of the 'Additions' included with the second edition of 1829. Bibliographic Citation link.
26 April 1835 FH dictated her last poem, "Sabbath Sonnet", to her brother from her sickbed; it appeared in Blackwood's that July. Bibliographic Citation link.
16 May 1835 FH died in Dublin, aged forty-one, following a general decline of health and attacks of cholera. Bibliographic Citation link.
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