Constance Naden

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CN was a poet, atheist, scientific theorist, and philosopher. Her verse, published early in her short, late-nineteenth-century career, reflects her interests in the biological sciences, the question of evolution, issues of religious faith and doubt, and the position of women. In both dramatic monologues and third-person narrative poems, she presents dilemmas of the head and heart in contemporary and historical settings with vivid perception and often with humour or even satire. After publishing two collections of poetry she abandoned writing verse. An accomplished student of science, she produced a number of speeches on scientific and political subjects, and later turned to philosophical writing, most of which remained unpublished till after her death.

Milestones

24 January 1858
CN was born at 15 Francis Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, the only child of her parents.
Hughes, William Richard, Charles Lapworth, W. A. Tilden, and Robert Lewins. Constance Naden: A Memoir. Bickers and Son, 1890.
6
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
22 October 1889
CN made a visit back to Mason College in Birmingham to deliver an address on Herbert Spencer 's The Principles of Sociology to the sociological section of the Birmingham Natural History and Microscopical Society .
Hughes, William Richard, Charles Lapworth, W. A. Tilden, and Robert Lewins. Constance Naden: A Memoir. Bickers and Son, 1890.
26, 51-2
Stephen, Sir Leslie, and Sidney Lee, editors. The Dictionary of National Biography. Smith, Elder, 1908.
23 December 1889
CN died following an operation for severe internal illness,
Hughes, William Richard, Charles Lapworth, W. A. Tilden, and Robert Lewins. Constance Naden: A Memoir. Bickers and Son, 1890.
56
probably ovarian cysts, at her home, 114 Park Street in Mayfair, London.
Hughes, William Richard, Charles Lapworth, W. A. Tilden, and Robert Lewins. Constance Naden: A Memoir. Bickers and Son, 1890.
56-7
Thain, Marion. “‘Scientific Wooing’: Constance Naden’s Marriage of Science and Poetry”. Victorian Poetry, pp. 151 - 69.
152
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Biography

Birth and Family

24 January 1858
CN was born at 15 Francis Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, the only child of her parents.
Hughes, William Richard, Charles Lapworth, W. A. Tilden, and Robert Lewins. Constance Naden: A Memoir. Bickers and Son, 1890.
6
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.