Anna Seward Poems
Collection Scope and Content Note
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This collection consists of two volumes that contain six manuscript poems written by Anna Seward (1742-1809). The first volume includes a 21-page copy of Monody on Major André, which was published in 1781, as well as an untitled 6-line poem in French on the follies of young women. Major John André, about whom she composed her Monody, had courted one of Seward's close friends and went on to be accused and executed by the Americans as a spy during the Revolutionary War. The pieces in the second volume include 8 pages of "Verses by Miss Seward, on receving [sic] Mr Hayley's Picture drawn for her by Mr. Romney," signed by Seward and dated Litchfield, November 7, 1781; a 12-line "Epitaph On Anne Whately who died May 1793 aged ten years"; and two undated sonnets.
William Hayley was an English poet who briefly courted Seward and with whom she corresponded throughout her adult life. The William L. Clements Library holds prints of the George Romney portrait to which her poem refers. Anne Whately has not been identified.