Editions

Anna Letitia Barbauld Letters to Lydia Rickards, 1798–1815

May, 2021
Anna Letitia Barbauld, whose collected works are in progress from Oxford University Press, was eminent as a poet, a path-breaking writer for children, a political writer during the years of the French Revolution and the Reform movement in Britain, and a woman of letters whose literary criticism went far to establish the modern canon of British novelists. Because most of her unpublished papers were destroyed in the bombing of London, it long seemed that only the letters published by her niece, Lucy Aikin, in Barbauld's Works (1825) survived today. In 2011, by sheer good luck a series of forty-three letters from Barbauld to a pupil, Lydia Rickards, came to light. Five of those letters were instructional (Lydia was one of Barbauld's many pupils) and will appear in the collected works. Thirty-eight others were social and sociable, and they are presented in this edition in texts that aim to reproduce as fully as practicable the characteristics of the holographs.

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