Life

Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1743 – 1825)

Read by Charlotte Quinney.

Anna Laetitia Barbauld was a prominent English poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, and children's author.

A "woman of letters" who published in multiple genres, Barbauld had a successful writing career at a time when female professional writers were rare. She was a noted teacher at the Palgrave Academy and an innovative children's writer; 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 was foundational to the development of British Romanticism. Barbauld was also a literary critic, and her anthology of 18th-century British novels helped establish the canon as known today.

 



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