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
Leisure and Society Mariana Starke
MS and her family were great supporters of literature through the subscription system. She subscribed in 1781 to Anne Francis 's Poetical Translation of the Song of Solomon, from the original Hebrew, which was...
Literary responses Mary Wollstonecraft
The Gentleman's Magazine typified the response of the conservative press. It complained that our modern philosophers . . . try to inspire the poor of this country with jealousy and resentment against the rich, and...
Literary responses Ann Yearsley
Again one of Yearsley's most perceptive readers was Anna Seward , who wrote to Helen Maria Williams on Christmas Day 1787 that Yearsley and Burns were both miracles . . . . Perhaps she has...
Occupation Hannah More
Controversy raged for years, and narrowed to a personal attack on HM , which pained her exceedingly.
Jones, Mary Gwladys. Hannah More. Cambridge University Press.
175-6, 184
She was, she said, [b]attered, hacked, scalped, tomahawked
Jones, Mary Gwladys. Hannah More. Cambridge University Press.
—a choice of phraseology which associated herself...
politics Anne Grant
AG was a conservative both in party politics and gender politics. The radicalism of Helen Maria Williams provoked her to write, we detest the Rights of Man, and abominate those of Woman.
Grant, Anne. Letters from the Mountains. Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme.
3: 28
Publishing Anna Seward
The month after Louis XVI was guillotined, AS expressed her outrage at the developing Terror in France with an impassioned letter printed in the Gentleman's Magazine, urging her friend Helen Maria Williams to come home.
Ashmun, Margaret. The Singing Swan. Yale University Press; H. Milford, Oxford University Press.
Publishing Fanny Aikin Kortright
Towards the end of her memoirs FAK notes that she wrote from the age of seventeen but did not earn until I was twenty-six.
Kortright, Fanny Aikin. The Recollections of My Long Life. Printed for the author by Farmer and Sons.
Her earliest publications were poems for the Guernsey Star (when she...
Reception Helen Craik
Apparently the only journal to notice Adelaide de Narbonne was the Anti-Jacobin in January 1800: it wished that Craik had not left her own political stance inexplicit.
Craciun, Adriana, and Kari E. Lokke, editors. “The New Cordays: Helen Craik and British Representations of Charlotte Corday, 1793-1800”. Rebellious Hearts: British Women Writers and the French Revolution, State University of New York Press, pp. 193-32.
Critic Shareen Robinson describes this novel as...
Textual Features Jane Harvey
The contents include descriptive and melancholy sonnets, satire, autobiography, and politics (including a poem on the horrors of slavery, addressed to William Wilberforce , and another about the sorrow of a woman whose lover has...
Textual Features Mrs F. C. Patrick
In the course of a busy plot Augusta is abducted, but saves herself from a forced marriage (her mother, the instigator of this outrage, affects to think her married in the sight of Heaven) by...
Textual Features Anna Letitia Barbauld
She strikes a newly bold, almost an insurrectionary note here, calling upon revolutionary France, indeed, to provide a model. [W]hatever is corrupted must be lopt away, she writes, as people assert their long forgotten...
Textual Features Elizabeth Helme
The dialogue in these books is stilted and unnatural. The children (of whom Charlotte, the only girl, is outnumbered by half a dozen brothers) are represented as intensely eager to hear all about these heroes...
Textual Features Elizabeth Ogilvy Benger
EOB writes in terms of a women's tradition: for instance, she praises Barbauld for praising Elizabeth Rowe . She makes confident judgements and attributions (she is sure that Lady Pakington is the real author of...
Textual Features Eliza Fenwick
For this anthology EF gathered mostly improving pedagogical material, drawing on revered literary names like Shakespeare and Milton , as well as more recent and controversial writers like Thomas Chatterton and Helen Maria Williams ...
Textual Production Isabella Neil Harwood
This three-act romantic drama is founded on the novel by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre which was titled in its English translation by Helen Maria WilliamsPaul and Virginia, June 1795. After the first act, though...


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Williams, Helen Maria. Souvenirs de la révolution française. Dondey-Dupré, 1827.
Williams, Helen Maria, and François Xavier de Maistre. The Leper of the City of Aoste: A Narrative. G. Cowie, 1817.
Bercenay, François Babié de, and Count Imbert de la Platière. The Political and Confidential Correspondence of Lewis the Sixteenth. Translator Williams, Helen Maria, G. and J. Robinson, 1803, http://BLC.