Helen Maria Williams wrote, during the Romantic or revolutionary period, as a woman with a mission, eager to see change for the better in the political, international world. She was a radical and egalitarian in gender relations too, although she believed that femininity comprised especial sensibility. Despite her two novels (one original and one translated), she is best known for her earlier poetry and her later political commentary on events in France, cast in the form of published letters.
Probably 17 June 1759 HMW was born in London, the elder of two sisters (she also had an elder half-sister). She was baptised on 5 July at St James's, Piccadilly.
March 1782 HMW published anonymously, with Cadell, her first poem, Edwin and Eltruda, A Legendary Tale.
By September 1823 HMW published a volume of Poems on Various Subjects, most of them written much earlier.