Anna Seward

Standard Name: Seward, Anna
Birth Name: Anna Seward
Nickname: The Swan of Lichfield
Nickname: Nancy
AS , living at a distance from London, was nevertheless a woman of letters, of the later eighteenth century and just beyond. She staked her claim to fame firstly on her poetry (though she was always willing to try genres unusual to her, like sermons and a biography of Erasmus Darwin ), secondly on her letters. In these and in her newspaper contributions she was also a literary critic, familiar with the criteria of both the Augustan and Romantic eras and gifted besides with an unfailing independence of judgement.
Photograph of a painting of Anna Seward by Tilly Kettle, 1762. Seward is seated at a desk with a little book of Milton's poetry in front of her. She is wearing a white gauzy bodice with wide sleeves, a deep pink mantle edged with brown fur, and a black ribbon and a string of pearls as a choker around her neck. Her dark hair is pinned on top of her head with a pearl ornament. National Portrait Gallery.
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Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Cultural formation Mary Delany
In Sister Arts: The Erotics of Lesbian Landscapes, 2011, Lisa L. Moore classified MD , along with the Duchess of Portland , Anna Seward , and the American Sarah Pierce (1767-1852), as lesbian-like women...
Cultural formation Mary Scott
MS grew up in a prosperous, middle-class household, in which religion was the centre of everyday life and activity. Most sources agree that her family were Protestant Dissenters.
Though Anna Seward said they were Anglicans
death Anna Miller
She was buried in Bath Abbey, with a poetic epitaph by Anna Seward .
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
death Mary Scott
Anna Seward addressed her an anxious letter dated 10 September, obviously having not yet learned about her death.
Seward, Anna. Letters of Anna Seward. Constable, ArchibaldEditor , A. Constable, 1811.
3: 310
Dedications Margaret Holford
The elder Margaret Holford published with her name, through the Minerva Press , First Impressions; or, The Portrait. A Novel, in four volumes, dedicated to Anna Seward .
Garside, Peter, James Raven, and Rainer Schöwerling, editors. The English Novel 1770-1829. Oxford University Press, 2000.
2: 135-6
Dedications Margaret Holford
Published by Hookham and Carpenter , this was a slim volume of 44 pages, with a title-page quotation from Pope 's Windsor Forest, and a handsome illustration of Gresford Lodge near Wrexham in Denbighshire...
Education Mary Scott
Little is known of MS 's education, but her correspondence with Anna Seward suggests familiarity with both classic and recent literature. Further, the knowledge she displays in The Female Advocate of women's writing in particular...
Family and Intimate relationships Fanny Holcroft
Thomas Holcroft held progressive ideas about women and their education, as he showed in 1794 in a brief review of Miss or Mrs. C. Short 's Dramas for the Use of Young Ladies (to which...
Family and Intimate relationships Mary Scott
MS 's father was a linen manufacturer, a Dissenter according to most accounts, and a zealous supporter of the civil and religious liberties of Protestant dissenters. Among his brothers was the Rev. Russell Scott ...
Fictionalization Frances Burney
Bibliographer James Raven notes a crescendo in novelistic echoes of FB 's works during the 1780s. Burney's brother Charles , for instance, noted borrowings from both Evelina and Cecilia in his review for the Monthly...
Friends, Associates J. S. Anna Liddiard
She wrote that Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby , the Ladies of Llangollen, treated her with very kind and flattering attention when she visited them.
Liddiard, J. S. Anna. Kenilworth and Farley Castle: with Other Poems. Hibernia–Press Office, 1813.
She may perhaps have known Anna Seward
Friends, Associates Jane Cave
It is possible, though this is speculative, that JC became acquainted while living at Winchester with the hymn-writer Anne Steele (who lived not far away), with Anna Seward and Hannah More (who were friends of...
Friends, Associates Elizabeth Pipe Wolferstan
Samuel Pipe Wolferstan"s friends included Erasmus Darwin , Anna Seward , Thomas Gisborne , and the novelist Robert Bage . Of EPW 's own friends, Mary Gresley was seriously pursued by her husband before he married Elizabeth.
Wolferstan, Elizabeth Pipe. “Preface”. Agatha, edited by John Goss.
Friends, Associates Mary Hays
In later life she was friendly with Penelope Pennington (with whom she stayed at Bristol) and Hester Piozzi , Anna Seward , and Hannah More , whom she met there.
Hays, Mary. “Chronology and Introduction”. The Correspondence (1779-1843) of Mary Hays, British Novelist, edited by Marilyn Brooks, Edwin Mellen, 2004, pp. xv - xx; 1.
Friends, Associates Mary Tighe
MT visited Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby , the Ladies of Llangollen, and met Anna Seward at their house.
Mavor, Elizabeth. The Ladies of Llangollen. Michael Joseph, 1971.


The Lichfield Circle began to develop at Lichfield in Staffordshire; the group advocated reform of women's education away from time-filling accomplishments such as japanning and toward intellectual learning.
16 December 1773
Citizens dumped 340 chests of tea into the harbour at Boston, Massachusetts, to protest duty imposed by the Tea Act of 10 May; this became known as the Boston Tea Party.
George Romney painted a picture to illustrate (after the fact) William Hayley 'a Triumphs of Temper, 1781: Serena, reading Burney 's Evelina. The model was Honora Sneyd .
William Hayley published his Philosophical, Historical and Moral Essay on Old Maids; most women readers agreed with Anna Seward that the book displayed witty, but ungenerous sport of fancy.
Seward, Anna. Letters of Anna Seward. Constable, ArchibaldEditor , A. Constable, 1811.
I: 147
April 1789
The Gentleman's Magazine published Anna Seward 's selection of living celebrated Female Poets.
By June 1796
Samuel Taylor Coleridge compiled a booklet titled Sonnets from Various Authors: four each by himself, Southey , Charles Lamb , and Charles Lloyd , two by Charlotte Smith , and one each by seven more writers including Anna Seward .
Philip James de Loutherbourg painted Coalbrookdale by Night, a theatrically romantic picture of a famous industrial village: houses perched on the valley cliffs, with a clouded sky glaring red from furnaces.
December 1802
The Critical Review extolled the quality of contemporary women's poetry: Miss Seward , Mrs Barbauld , Charlotte Smith , will take their place among the English poets for centuries to come.
The publisher George, George, and John Robinson , whose list of women writers had been distinguished, went bankrupt.
9 June 1819
The library of the late Queen Charlotte was auctioned by Christie's ; it included Jane Austen 's works, plus titles by Catherine Cuthbertson , Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire , Christian Isobel Johnstone , Alethea Lewis