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Anna Laetitia Barbauld. Biography
Anna Laetitia Barbauld (20 June 1743 – 9 March 1825) was a prominent English poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, and author of children's literature.
A "woman of letters" who published in multiple genres, Barbauld had a successful writing career at a time when women rarely were professional writers. She was a noted teacher at the Palgrave Academy and an innovative writer of works for children; her primers provided a model for pedagogy for more than a century. Her essays demonstrated that it was possible for a woman to be publicly engaged in politics, and other women authors such as Elizabeth Benger emulated her. Barbauld's literary career spanned numerous periods in British literary history: her work promoted the values of both the Enlightenment and Sensibility, and her poetry made a founding contribution to the development of British Romanticism. Barbauld was also a literary critic and her anthology of eighteenth-century British novels helped establish the canon as known today.
Barbauld's career as a poet ended abruptly in 1812 with the publication of "Eighteen Hundred and Eleven", which criticised Britain's participation in the Napoleonic Wars. She was shocked by the vicious reviews it received and published nothing else in her lifetime. Her reputation was further damaged when many of the Romantic poets she had inspired in the heyday of the French Revolution turned against her in their later, more conservative years. Barbauld was remembered only as a pedantic children's writer in the nineteenth century, and largely forgotten in the twentieth, but the rise of feminist literary criticism in the 1980s renewed interest in her works and restored her place in literary history.
Anna Laetitia Barbauld's Poems:
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