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ANNA LETITIA BARBAULD (1743-1825)

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Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 384 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ANNA LETITIA BARBAULD (1743-1825), English poet and miscellaneous writer, was born at Kibworth-Harcourt, in Leicestershire, on the loth of June 1743. Her father, the Rev. John Aikin, a Presbyterian minister and schoolmaster, taught his daughter Latin and Greek. In 1758 Mr Aikin removed his family to Warrington, to act as theological tutor in a dissenting academy there. In 1773 Miss Aikin published a volume of Poems, which was very successful, and co-operated with her brother, Dr John Aikin, in a volume of Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose. In 1774 she married Rochemont Barbauld, a member of a French Protestant family settled in England. He had been educated in- the academy at Warrington, and was minister of a Presbyterian church at Palgrave, in Suffolk, where, with his wife's help, he established a boarding school. Her admirable Hymns in Prose and Early Lessons were written for their pupils. In 1785 she left England for the continent with her husband, whose- health was seriously impaired. On their return abouttwo years later, Mr Barbauld was appointed to a church at Hampstead. In 1802 they removed to Stoke Newington. Mrs Barbauld became well known in London literary circles. She collaborated with Dr Aikin in his Evenings at Home; in 1795 she published an edition of Akenside's Pleasures of Imagination, with a critical essay; two years later she edited Collins's Odes; in 1804 she published a selection of papers from the English Essayists, and a selection from Samuel Richardson's correspondence, with a biographical notice; in 1810 a collection of the British Novelists (5o vols.) with biographical and critical notices; and in 1811 her longest poem, Eighteen Hundred and Eleven, giving a gloomy view of the existing state and future prospects of Britain. This poem anticipated Macaulay in contemplating the prospect of a visitor from the antipodes regarding at a future day the ruins of St Paul's from a broken arch of Blackfriars Bridge. Mrs Barbauld died on the 9th of March 1825; her husband had died in 1808. A collected edition of her works, with memoir, was published by her niece, Lucy Aikin, in 2 vols., 1825. See A. L. le Breton, Memoir of Mrs Barbauld (1874) ; G. A. Ellis, Life and Letters of Mrs A. L. Barbauld (1874) ; and Lady Thackeray Ritchie, A Book of Sibyls (1883).
End of Article: ANNA LETITIA BARBAULD (1743-1825)
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