Standard Name: Hemans, Felicia
Birth Name: Felicia Dorothea Browne
Married Name: Felicia Dorothea Hemans
Pseudonym: F. H.
Pseudonym: A Lady
A major Romantic poet and the most popular woman poet (or poetess as she and others expressed it) in English during the nineteenth century, published nineteen volumes of verse and two dramas. While most of her work was poetry—songs, lyric poetry, dramatic lyrics (arguably dramatic monologues), narrative poetry, and verse drama—she also published literary criticism, and some of her private letters survive. After her death she became in the mid-Victorian period a household name and a staple for memorizing as the popular educational practice at home and in the colonies. Her evocation of the domestic affections and the values associated with English national valour and imperial strength resonated strongly with her contemporaries, but in the late Victorian period her work fell out of favour. Recently interest has revived in her as a female voice within Romanticism, and as a vehicle for bourgeois, domestic, and British hegemony that nevertheless also critiques the very values and ideals for which her work became a byword. Recognition of her as a major poetic voice has accompanied a substantial shift in the understanding of British Romanticism.