Felicia Dorothea Hemans
Born in Liverpool, England, Romantic poet Felicia Dorothea Hemans was the daughter of a merchant and a granddaughter of the consul, and the fifth of seven children. The family relocated to Wales following a period of financial difficulty in 1800. A voracious and early reader, Hemans made use of an extensive home library and was instructed by her mother in several languages. She spent two winters in London as a child, and was captivated by the classical art she saw there.
Hemans published her first collection, Poems (1808), at the age of 14. She married Captain Alfred Hemans in 1812, and together they had five children. However, her husband did not return from a trip to Italy in 1818, and from then on Hemans had to support her family with the income from her poetry.
Influenced by William Wordsworth and Lord Byron, Hemans’s poetry was published in 19 volumes, including The Domestic Affections and other Poems (1812), Records of Woman: With Other Poems (1828), and Siege of Valencia (1823). Her metrically assured poems often explore domestic and romantic themes.