Anne Finch, Countess of Winchelsea (1661-1720)
Read by Lesley Thompson, Fellow and Bursar
Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (April 1661 – 5 August 1720), was an English poet, the third child of Sir William Kingsmill of Sydmonton Court and his wife, Anne Haslewood. She was well-educated as her family believed in good education for girls as well as for boys.
Although she has always enjoyed some fame as a poet, Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea, has only recently received greater praise and renewed attention. Her diverse and considerable body of work records her private thoughts and personal struggles but also illustrates her awareness of the social and political climate of her era. Anne was hesitant about publishing her work, with reason, given the social and political climate of the day. "The Introduction" privately circulated with her octavo manuscript, discusses attitudes towards women poets that that time.