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AN ESSAY ON HER GENIUS,
BY H. T. TUCKERMAN.
BY RUFUS W. GRISWOLD.
SORIN AND BALL,
NO. 42 NORTH FOURTH STREET.
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRAR
STEREOTYPED BY MOGRIDGE & M'CARTY.....PHILA D'A.
T. K. & P. G. COLLINS.
FELICIA DOROTHEA BROWNE was born in Liverpool on the twenty-first of September, 1793. Her childhood was passed among the wild mountain scenery of Wales; and before she was nineteen years of age, she had a printed collection of verses before the world. From this period to the end of her history she sent forth volume after volume, each surpassing its predecessor in tenderness and beauty.
At nineteen she was married to Captain HEMANS, of the Fourth regiment. He was of an irritable temperament, and his health had been injured by the vicissitudes of a military life. They lived together unhappily for several years, when Captain HEMANS left England for Italy and never returned. Mrs. HEMANS continued to reside with her mother and her sister, Miss MARY ANNE BROWNE, now Mrs. GRAY, a poetess of some reputation, near St. Asaph, in North Wales, where she devoted her attention to literature and to the education of her children, five sons, in whom all her affections from this time were centered. Here she wrote The Restoration of the Works of Art to Italy, Modern Greece, Translations from Camoens, Wallace,
Dartmoor, The Sceptic, Welsh Melodies, Historic Scenes, The Siege of Valencia, The Vespers of Palermo, The Forest Sanctuary, The Songs of the Affections, Records of Women, and the lays of Many Lands.
The death of her mother, in 1827, induced Mrs. HEMANS to leave Wales and reside at Wavertree, near Liverpool. While here she made two visits to Scotland, and was warmly received by JEFFREY, WALlter SCOTT, and the other eminent literary persons of the northern metropolis. On her return from her second tour in Scotland, she changed her residence from Wavertree to Dublin, where she published her Hymns for Children, National Lyrics, and Songs for Music.
Her domestic sorrows, and the earnestness with which she devoted herself to literary pursuits, had long before impaired her health; and now her decline became rapid, and induced forebodings of death. Her poems, written in this period, were marked by a melancholy despondency, yet with a Christian resignation. After an illness singularly painful and protracted, she died on the sixteenth of May, 1835, in the fortysecond year of her age, and was buried in the vault of St. Anne's, in Dublin.