After her death in they were republished widely, usually as collections of individual lyrics and not the longer, annotated works and integrated series that made up her books. To many readers she offered a woman's voice confiding a woman's trials; to others a lyricism apparently consonant with Victorian chauvinism and sentimentality. Among the works she valued most were the unfinished "Superstition and Revelation" and the pamphlet "The Sceptic," which sought an Anglicanism more attuned to world religions and women's experiences. In her most successful book, "Records of Woman" , she chronicles the lives of women, both famous and anonymous.
Hemans' poem The Homes of England is the origin of the phrase stately home in English. The first line of the poem runs, "The stately Homes of England". Despite her illustrious admirers, her stature as a serious poet gradually declined, partly due to her success in the literary marketplace.
Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat. Translations from Camoens and other poets with original poetry. This is Norton's text:. A "Reception" section spans the nineteenth century: along with some newly published letters, I include samples of major reviews that appeared in her lifetime, widely published elegies, and landmark memoirs, prefaces, and literary biographies. Italian lit: No.
Her poetry was considered morally exemplary, and was often assigned to schoolchildren; as a result, Hemans came to be seen a poet for children rather than taken seriously on the basis of her entire body of work. A jocular reference by Saki in The Toys of Peace suggests simultaneously that she was a household word and that Saki did not take her seriously.
Schoolchildren in the U.
However, Hemans' critical reputation has been re-examined in recent years. Her work has resumed a role in standard anthologies and in classrooms and seminars and literary studies, especially in the U.
The poem depicts what happened on the ship the Orient as Commander Louis de Casabianca died due to refusing to flee his post. Other poetic figures such as Elizabeth Bishop and Samuel Butler allude to the poem in their own works. The poem is sung in ballad form abab and consists of a boy asking his father whether he had fulfilled his duties, as the ship continues to burn after the magazine catches fire. Martin Gardner and Michael R. Turner made modern day parodies that were much more upbeat and consisted of boys stuffing their faces with peanuts and breads.
This contrasted sharply with the solemn image created in Casabianca as Hemans wrote it. England and Spain, or, Valor and Patriotism Her second book, England and Spain, or, Valor and Patriotism, was published in and was a narrative poem honoring her brother and his military service in the Peninsular War. The poem called for an end of the tyranny of Napoleon Bonaparte and for a long lasting peace after the war.
She saw all of the fighting as useless bloodshed and a waste of human life. Share this poet:. Biography of Felicia Dorothea Hemans.
Felicia Dorothea Hemans Poems Casabianca The boy stood on the burning deck Whence all but he had fled; The flame that lit the battle's wreck Shone round him o'er the dead. A Spirit's Return Thy voice prevails - dear friend, my gentle friend! This long-shut heart for thee shall be unsealed, And though thy soft eye mournfully will bend Bring Flowers Bring flowers, young flowers, for the festal board, To wreathe the cup ere the wine is pour'd; Bring flowers!
What ages have gone by, Since here the mournful seal was set By love and agony! Address To Music OH thou!
Address To Fancy OH, queen of dreams! Musical settings of her work continued through the nineteenth century, and include 'The Swan and the Skylark: a Cantata' by Arthur Goring Thomas and C. With twenty volumes and nearly four hundred poems published in magazines and annuals during her lifetime, Felicia Hemans was the most considerable woman poet of the Romantic period. Her work was republished frequently in Britain and America until the First World War, almost yearly through the mid-nineteenth century. Hemans's poetry ranged formally from sonnets and lyrics to narratives, dramas, and even polemics.
Some readers find her floral and topographical language and frequent allusions to history and literature purely decorative, while others propose that these elements reflect a systematic and critical study of politics and gender. Hemans's characteristically insistent rhythm and insinuating tone appear to support the latter argument, as do her pointed revisions of sources such as the work of Gibbon or Byron.
Most Victorian editions and reissues of her work omitted her learned notes and long poems, however, and helped to cast her as a 'parlour poet' and the very type of the 'sentimental poetess'. Oxford University Press included her in its Standard Authors series in , but modernism, with its masculinist and anti-Romantic bent, put her into eclipse for over half a century. In the s and especially the s feminist critics began to find value in her studies of women's situations and women's creativity.
In the s historicist critics took up questions of style, poetics, and politics, arguing that these reveal Hemans as a critic of conventions such as patriotism and female self-sacrifice. Hemans is now recognized by many literary historians as the most notable British poet flourishing between the death of Byron and the rise of Tennyson and the Brownings. Graves to Mr Graves, Extracts , View the article for this person in the Dictionary of National Biography archive edition.
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Search within Show Summary Details Article Images. Sources H. Chorley, Memorials of Mrs Hemans with illustrations of her literary character from her private correspondence , 2 vols. Moorman, William Wordsworth, a biography , 2: The later years, — , — Coleridge], review of The restoration of the works of art to Italy , QR , 24 —21 , — Archives Alexandra College, Milltown, Dublin, corresp. MSS —, fol. Likenesses W. West, portraits, , priv. Smith, line engraving, after E. Robertson , BM; repro. Chorley, Authors of England Holl, stipple after W. Wealth at Death no evidence of surviving wealth, but rather of need; in last months was occupied in situating youngest sons: Peel, letter to Hemans, BL, Add.
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