mrs rowe note

Elizabeth Rowe

Elizabeth Rowe (1674-1737) was a poet and dissenting religious writer. Her early poems were published anonymously in journals and are for the most part pastoral lyrics celebrating friendship and romantic love, as well as about death and the nature of the soul and were collected in Poems on Several Occasions, by Philomela (1696). Her best-known work during her lifetime was a series of prose epistles, Friendship in Death, or Letters from the Dead to the Living (1728), which were reprinted throughout the eighteenth century along with her Letters Moral and Entertaining (1728, 1731, 1732) and were admired by Samuel Richardson and Samuel Johnson. (Source: Meredith, David W. "Elizabeth Rowe." A Dictionary of British and American Women Writers, 1660-1800. Ed. Janet Todd. Totowa, New Jersey: Rowman & Littlefield, 1987, 273-4). The Bluestocking Elizabeth Carter wrote two elegies to Rowe. As both Dissenter and poet, it is easy to see why Barbauld would address a poem to Rowe and ask her to "be thou my Muse."