Helen Maria Williams

Standard Name: Williams, Helen Maria
Birth Name: Helen Maria Williams
HMW 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.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Friends, Associates Charlotte Smith
CS met Helen Maria Williams during her brief visit to revolutionary France. She provided an introduction to Williams for William Wordsworth (who had in fact met or perhaps merely seen her already) before he too...
Friends, Associates Mary Wollstonecraft
In Paris MW met several of her radical friends from London, like Tom Paine , as well as Helen Maria Williams and her lover John Hurford Stone . She also met French revolutionaries like Manon Roland
Friends, Associates Sydney Owenson, Lady Morgan
On her first visit to Paris, she met Germaine de Staël , and formed lasting friendships with the marquise de Villette (Voltaire 's adopted daughter) and with Elizabeth Patterson (an American heiress, the abandoned...
Friends, Associates Stéphanie-Félicité de Genlis
SFG was visited during the Revolution by Helen Maria Williams (who mentioned her works with respect in print). After her final return to France the flocks of visiting Britons who continued to seek her out...
Friends, Associates Amelia Opie
She had already begun to move in fashionable circles, and became friendly with Lady Caroline Lamb , Lady Cork , and painters James Northcote and Sir Joshua Reynolds .
Opie, Amelia. “Introduction”. Adeline Mowbray, edited by Shelley King and John B. Pierce, Oxford University Press, p. i - xxix.
In 1802, in London and...
Friends, Associates Joanna Baillie
Over the course of her long life JB made dozens of well-loved friends, many of them either professional writers like herself or else writing amateurs. They included Lucy Aikin , Mary Berry , Eliza Fletcher
Friends, Associates Anne Plumptre
Their friends included Eliza Fenwick , Helen Maria Williams , Susannah Taylor , Mary Hays , Amelia Opie , Thomas Holcroft , John Thelwall , and other radicals. AP supported Thelwall's local electioneering, and Ann Jebb
Friends, Associates Anna Letitia Barbauld
The literary society of ALB 's time was, as biographer Betsy Rodgers notes, small and intimate.
Rodgers, Betsy. Georgian Chronicle: Mrs Barbauld and her Family. Methuen.
Writers all knew each other and kept in touch; those who did not live in London visited frequently...
Friends, Associates Mary Scott
MS was probably a friend from an early age of the dissenting hymn-writer Anne Steele , who lived not very far away and who was a generation older. They spent much time together in 1773...
Friends, Associates Anna Seward
AS , visiting London, spent a lot of time with Helen Maria Williams and her lively social circle.
Ashmun, Margaret. The Singing Swan. Yale University Press; H. Milford, Oxford University Press.
Intertextuality and Influence Helen Craik
This appeared in four volumes from the Minerva Press . Its title seems to be the root source of scholarly confusion of HC with Catherine Cuthbertson . HC was clearly familiar with Helen Maria Williams
Intertextuality and Influence Elizabeth Moody
She has a sharp eye for gender issues, including those surrounding domestic work. The Housewife's Prayer is addressed to Economy, a name which might be loosely translated as balancing the budget, and ends with the...
Intertextuality and Influence Judith Sargent Murray
She backs this pleasure in modernity with a remarkable grasp of former female history and of the women's literary tradition in English and its contexts. She mentions the Greek foremother Sappho , the patriotic heroism...
Intertextuality and Influence Mary Hays
Among the book's contents are poems and fiction (including dream visions and an Oriental tale. Titles like Cleora, or the Misery Attending Unsuitable Connections and Josepha, or pernicious Effects of early Indulgence foreground Hays's didactic...
Intertextuality and Influence Felicia Hemans
Scenes and Hymns of Life includes Prisoners' Evening Service, which imagines the last days of two prisoners awaiting execution during the French Revolution, and affectingly described by Helen Maria Williams .
Duquette, Natasha Aleksiuk. Veiled Intent: Dissenting Women’s Approach to Biblical Interpretation. Pickwick Publications.


1788: Bernardin de Saint-Pierre published his popular...

Writing climate item


Bernardin de Saint-Pierre published his popular sentimentalnovelPaul et Virginie, a two-generation story involving friendship between two single mothers living in a kind of exile in the idyllic, colonial, tropical Ile de France (now...

April 1789: The Gentleman's Magazine published Anna Seward's...

Women writers item

April 1789

The Gentleman's Magazine published Anna Seward 's selection of living celebrated Female Poets.

Late 1790: William Holland published a print of Burke...

National or international item

Late 1790

William Holland published a print of Burke running the gauntlet of enemies with whips: women as well as men.

June 1793: An enterprising printer and freemason, John...

Writing climate item

June 1793

An enterprising printer and freemason, John Wharlton Bunney , put out the first number of The Free-Mason's Magazine, or General and Complete Library.

13 July 1793: Charlotte Corday, a Royalist from Normandy,...

National or international item

13 July 1793

Charlotte Corday , a Royalist from Normandy, assassinated Marat as he lay in his bath.


Williams, Helen Maria. A Farewell, for Two Years, to England. T. Cadell, 1791.
Williams, Helen Maria. A Narrative of the Events which have taken place in France. J. Murray, 1815.
Williams, Helen Maria. A Poem on the Bill Lately Passed for Regulating the Slave Trade. T. Cadell, 1788, http://BL.
Williams, Helen Maria. A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793, 1794, 1795. Research Publications, 1975.
Williams, Helen Maria. A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793, 1794, and 1795. Editor Gifford, John, T. N. Longman, 1797.
Williams, Helen Maria. A Tour in Switzerland. G. G. and J. Robinson, 1798, http://BLC.
Williams, Helen Maria. An Ode on the Peace. T. Cadell, 1783.
Williams, Helen Maria. Edwin and Eltruda, A Legendary Tale. T. Cadell, 1782.
Bending, Stephen et al. “General Introduction”. Helen Maria Williams, A Tour in Switzerland, vol. 1 (1798), edited by Stephen Bending et al., Pickering and Chatto, 2007, p. ix - xxi.
Williams, Helen Maria. “Introduction”. Julia, edited by Natasha Aleksiuk Duquette, Pickering and Chatto, 2010, p. xi - xxix.
Williams, Helen Maria. “Introduction and Chronology”. Letters Written in France, in the Summer 1790, edited by Neil Fraistat and Susan Sniader Lanser, Broadview, 2001, pp. 9-52.
Williams, Helen Maria. Julia. T. Cadell, 1790.
Williams, Helen Maria. Letters Containing a Sketch of the Politics of France. G. G. and J. Robinson, 1796.
Williams, Helen Maria. Letters from France Containing Many New Anecdotes. G. G. J. and J. Robinson, 1792.
Williams, Helen Maria. Letters from France, Containing a Great Variety of Interesting and Original Information. G. G. and J. Robinson, 1793.
Williams, Helen Maria. Letters on the Events which have passed in France since the Restoration in 1815. Baldwin, Cradock and Joy, 1819.
Williams, Helen Maria. Letters Written in France, in the Summer 1790, to a Friend in England. T. Cadell, 1790.
Williams, Helen Maria. On the Late Persecution of the Protestants in the South of France. T. and G. Underwood, 1816.
Saint Pierre, Jacques Henri Bernardin de. Paul and Virginia. Translator Williams, Helen Maria, G. G. and J. Robinson, 1795.
Humboldt, Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von, and Aimé Bonpland. Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent During the Years 1799-1804. Translator Williams, Helen Maria, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, 1821.
Williams, Helen Maria. Peru. T. Cadell, 1784, http://U of A Special Collections.
Williams, Helen Maria. Poems. Printed by A. Rivington and J. Marshall for T. Cadell, 1786.
Williams, Helen Maria. Poems on Various Subjects. G. and W. B. Whittaker, 1823.
Humboldt, Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von. Researches, Concerning the Institutions and Monuments of the Ancient Inhabitants of America. Translators Williams, Helen Maria and Aimé Bonpland, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, J. Murray and H. Colburn, 1814.
Williams, Helen Maria. Sketches of the State of Manners and Opinions in the French Republic. G. G. and J. Robinson, 1801.