Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive
The Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive — ECPA — is a collaborative digital archive and research project devoted to the poetry of the long eighteenth century. ECPA builds on the electronic texts created by the Text Creation Partnership from Gale’s Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO).
- browse authors by names, dates of birth, or gender;
- browse works ( text versions) by titles, first lines, themes, or genres;
- view high-quality digital facsimiles of select source editions of the texts used by ECPA;
- use the built-in digital tools to augment the close reading process of individual poems;
- contribute and share textual notes and glosses, readings and interpretations, observations and suggestions, via easy-to-use forms (just click on any line or word);
- use the collaborative potential in the classroom to increase student engagement with the texts;
- use the resources (chronology, gallery, and bibliography) to enhance your studies.
ECPA is currently released in beta and is being constantly updated. Follow ECPA on Twitter to be kept informed of developments. Upcoming updates include:
- increasing the number of authors and works represented (currently in preparation: George Monck Berkeley, Robert Bloomfield, Amelia Opie);
- scoping the requirements for the next two modes of engagement (views), namely visualization view and modelling view.
Works in ECPA
- AN ADDRESS TO POETRY. ()
- AN AMERICAN TALE. ()
- THE BASTILLE, A VISION. ()
- THE CHARTER; ADDRESSED TO MY NEPHEW ATHANASE C. L. COQUEREL, ON HIS WEDDING DAY, 1819. ()
- THE COMPLAINT OF THE GODDESS OF THE GLACIERS TO DOCTOR DARWIN. ()
- DULCE DOMUM, AN OLD LATIN ODE. ()
- DUNCAN, AN ODE. ()
- EDWIN AND ELTRADA, A LEGENDARY TALE. (); EDWIN AND ELTRUDA. ()
- ELEGY ON A YOUNG THRUSH, WHICH ESCAPED FROM THE WRITER'S HAND, AND FALLING DOWN THE AREA OF A HOUSE, COULD NOT BE FOUND. ()
- EUPHELIA, AN ELEGY. ()
- HYMN, IMITATED FROM THE FRENCH. ()
- HYMN, WRITTEN AMONG THE ALPS. ()
- A HYMN. ()
- IMITATION OF LINES ADDRESSED BY M. D—, A YOUNG MAN OF TWENTY-FOUR YEARS OF AGE, THE NIGHT BEFORE HIS EXECUTION, TO A YOUNG LADY TO WHOM HE WAS ENGAGED. — 1794. ()
- IMITATION OF LINES WRITTEN BY ROUCHER, BELOW HIS PICTURE, WHICH A FELLOW-PRISONER HAD DRAWN, AND WHICH HE SENT TO HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN THE DAY BEFORE HIS EXECUTION. — 1794. ()
- LINES ADDRESSED TO A. C., AN INFANT, ON HIS FIRST NEW-YEAR'S DAY, 1821. ()
- LINES ON THE TOMB OF A FAVOURITE DOG. ()
- LINES TO HELEN, A NEW-BORN INFANT, 1821. ()
- LINES WRITTEN IN THE ALBUM OF THE BARONESS D' H——, TO HER TWO DAUGHTERS. ()
- LINES WRITTEN ON THE PILLAR ERECTING TO THE MEMORY OF MR. BARLOW, Minister of the United States at Paris, WHO DIED AT NAROWITCH IN POLAND, ON HIS RETURN FROM WILNA, DEC. 26, 1812. ()
- THE LINNET AND THE CAT. ()
- THE MORAI. ()
- ODE TO PEACE. ()
- ON THE BILL WHICH WAS PASSED IN ENGLAND FOR REGULATING THE SLAVE-TRADE; A SHORT TIME BEFORE ITS ABOLITION. ()
- PARAPHRASE. ()
- PARAPHRASE. ()
- PARAPHRASE. ()
- PARAPHRASE. ()
- PART OF AN IRREGULAR FRAGMENT. ()
- PERUVIAN TALES. ()
- QUEEN MARY'S COMPLAINT. ()
- SCOTCH BALLAD. ()
- SONG. ()
- SONG. ()
- SONG. ()
- SONNET ON READING BURNS' “MOUNTAIN DAISY.” ()
- SONNET TO DISAPPOINTMENT. ()
- SONNET TO EXPRESSION. ()
- SONNET TO HOPE. ()
- SONNET TO LOVE. ()
- SONNET TO MRS. BATES. ()
- SONNET TO MRS. SIDDONS. ()
- SONNET TO PEACE OF MIND. ()
- SONNET TO SIMPLICITY. ()
- SONNET TO THE CALBASSIA-TREE. ()
- SONNET TO THE CURLEW. ()
- SONNET TO THE MOON. ()
- SONNET TO THE STRAWBERRY. ()
- SONNET TO THE TORRID ZONE. ()
- SONNET TO THE WHITE-BIRD OF THE TROPIC. ()
- SONNET TO TWILIGHT. ()
- TO A FRIEND, WHO SENT ME FLOWERS, WHEN CONFINED BY ILLNESS. ()
- TO DR. MOORE, IN ANSWER TO A POETICAL EPISTLE WRITTEN TO ME BY HIM IN WALES, SEPTEMBER 1791. ()
- TO JAMES FORBES, ESQ. Author of “The Oriental Memoirs,” WHO ASKED FOR SOME LINES OF MY HAND-WRITING ON LEAVING FRANCE, AFTER HIS CAPTIVITY AT VERDUN. ()
- TO JAMES FORBES, ESQ. ON HIS BRINGING ME FLOWERS FROM VAUCLUSE, AND WHICH HE HAD PRESERVED BY MEANS OF AN INGENIOUS PROCESS IN THEIR ORIGINAL BEAUTY. ()
- TO MRS. K—, ON HER SENDING ME ENGLISH CHRISTMAS PLUMB-CAKE, AT PARIS. ()
- TO SENSIBILITY. ()
- TO THE BARON DE HUMBOLDT, ON HIS BRINGING ME SOME FLOWERS IN MARCH. ()
- THE TRAVELLERS IN HASTE; ADDRESSED TO THOMAS CLARKSON, ESQ. IN 1814, WHEN MANY ENGLISH ARRIVED AT PARIS, BUT REMAINED A VERY SHORT TIME. ()
- VERSES ADDRESSED TO MY TWO NEPHEWS, ON SAINT HELEN'S DAY, 1809. ()
Helen Maria Williams was born in London, the daughter of Charles Williams (d. 1762), secretary to the island of Minorca, and his second wife Helen, née Hay (1730-1812).
After her father's death, she was brought up (with a sister and a step-sister) by
her mother in Berwick-upon-Tweed. In 1781 the family returned to London where Williams
was encouraged to write by their minister, the writer Andrew Kippis. Her first poem,
Edwin and Eltruda, appeared in 1782, which was followed by several other pieces. In 1786, her two-volume
collection Poems was published, which included
An American Tale,
Euphelia. Williams came into contact with fellow writers, including Samuel Johnson and the Warton brothers, and corresponded with Anna Seward. In the late 1780s, Williams
joined fellow dissenting writers such as Anna Laetitia Barbauld in the abolitionist cause, to which she contributed her
On the Bill which was Passed in England for Regulating the Slave-Trade (1788). Williams was enthusiastic about the French Revolution, which had a profound
impact on her personal and literary life. She first visited Paris in 1790 and quickly
became a chronicler of the crisis in France for a British audience. Her Letters from France (1790-6) provide an eye-witness account of the revolutionary struggles and the reign
of terror and its aftermath. Williams' sister Cecilia married a Frenchman, Martin
A. Coquerel, in 1794 and settled in Paris. Soon after, Williams went into exile in
Switzerland for six months to avoid prosecution. She came under attack by some writers
for her pro-revolutionary views and rumours about an affair with a divorced Englishman
living in Paris. In 1798 her sister Cecilia died, and Williams became adoptive mother
of her nephews Athanase and Charles. After the peace of Amiens in 1801, Williams entertained
the French and British literary elite in her salon in Paris for many years. In 1810,
she began translating the works of German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, which
resulted in a long friendship with v. Humboldt. Williams was naturalized as a French
citizen in 1817. A final collection of her Poems on Various Subjects was published in 1823. She died in Paris in 1827.
ODNB 29509; NCBEL 693-694; DLB 158
Kennedy, Deborah. Helen Maria Williams and the age of revolution. Bucknell studies in eighteenth-century literature and culture. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2002. Print.
Baines, Paul, Julian Ferraro, Pat Rogers, eds. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Eighteenth-Century Writers and Writing, 1660-1789. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. 369-370. Print.
Radcliffe, David H., ed.
Helen Maria Williams (1762-1827). Spenser and the Tradition: ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830. Center for Applied Technologies in the Humanities, Virginia Tech, 2006. Web. 14 Oct. 2011. http://spenserians.cath.vt.edu/AuthorRecord.php?recordid=33600.
The Poem That Ate America: Helen Maria Williams's Ode on the Peace (1783). Labbe, Jacqueline M., ed. and introd. The History of British Women's Writing, 1750-1830. History of British Women's Writing 5. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Print.
Duquette, Natasha. Dauntless Spirits: Sublimity and Social Consciousness in the Poetry of Ann Radcliffe, H. M. Williams, and Joanna Baillie. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 66(4) (2005): 1361. Queen's University, 2005. Print.
Helen Maria Williams: Wordsworth's Revolutionary anima. Wordsworth Circle 40(1) (2009): 55-64. Print.
Helen Maria Williams: The Shaping of a Poetic Identity. Crisafulli, Lilla Maria, and Cecilia Pietropoli, eds. and introd. Romantic Women Poets: Genre and Gender. DQR: Studies in Literature 39. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Rodopi, 2007. 63-76. Print.
'Storms of sorrow': the poetry of Helen Maria Williams. Man and Nature 10 (1991): 77-91. Print.
Mitchell, Robert Edward.
'The Soul That Dreams It Shares the Power It Feels So Well': The Politics of Sympathy in the Abolitionist Verse of Williams and Yearsley. Romanticism on the Net: An Electronic Journal Devoted to Romantic Studies 29-30, 2003. Web. 13 Sep. 2016. https://www.erudit.org/en/journals/ron/2003-n29-30-ron695/007719ar/.
The aesthetics of the present: commerce, empire and technology in late eighteenth-century women's poetry. Textus 18(1) (2005): 205-20. Print.