Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L.E.L.): Poetic Genius as a Girl

by JoHarrington

Letitia Elizabeth Landon (aka L or L.E.L.) was a major 19th century celebrity, who some - Germaine Greer amongst them - wish to see reinstated as one of Britain's Greats.

When the first poems were published under the pseudonym L, they caused a stir. They were good, very good, and no-one could discern the author.

It was 1820, when poets were the rock stars of their era, and the mystery soon became hot gossip throughout the higher echelons of society. The likes of Byron, Shelley, Coleridge, Wordsworth and Keats were all mooted, mentioned and dismissed.

With an evident sense of mischief, the next batch of poems added more clues. The poet was now L.E.L. - a moniker which would persist until the end. The readership of the 'London Gazette' were agog with guessing.

Then it all tumbled out. The bard was just eighteen years old, and she was female!

Letitia Elizabeth Landon is one of Georgian Britain's most under-rated writers. Let me introduce you to a forgotten legend with an interesting bloodline.

The Birth and Ancestry of Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Letitia was a literary child prodigy. The child of a landed family used to ruling, but forced to find other options, as bad luck and dodgy dealings brought them low.

Image: Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L.E.L.)There was always something a little bit special about Letitia Landon. For a start, she learned to read while still a toddler.

She was born on August 14th 1802, as the eldest child of John and Katherine (nee Bishop) Landon, in Chelsea, London.  Her brother Whittington Henry Landon would follow in 1804, and her sister Elizabeth Jane Landon arrived in 1806.

The family weren't originally from London (indeed, they had relocated to Trevor Park in Hertfordshire by the time of Elizabeth's birth; though that doesn't seem to have worked out, as they soon came back). Ethnically Cornish, but with links so far distant as to pale into insignificance, the Landon roots were now in the Welsh Marches.

Letitia's mother Katherine, though born in Cheshire, was actually Welsh. In marrying her, John seems to have continued some subtle family tradition. For centuries, the Landon men appear to have wooed Welsh women as their wives with notable regularity. Now the family's native British bloodline owed at least as much above the Bristol Channel as below.

The Landons had also been considerably more wealthy than they were right now.

Letitia's great-great grandfather was Sir William Landon, Member of Parliament. Since the 16th century (at least) the Landons had been landed gentry in Herefordshire, where the ancestral home was Tedstone Court near Yarpole. There were vast estates beyond that, with tenanted farmers bringing in a steady income. But then, in 1720, it had all gone very wrong.

Sir William Landon sank every last penny into the South Sea Company, then lost it all as the bubble burst. Land and living alike had to be sold off to pay his debts.

Suddenly his children, grandchildren and all descendants thereon would have to find work to maintain themselves.  The family's fortunes were on the slide, but fortunately there were good connections to be found from their previous position. Several Landon gentlemen entered the Anglican church, and were immediately elevated to the top of that religious hierarchy.

Letitia's grandfather was Reverend John Landon, Rector of Tedstone, and Donnington in Herefordshire too. Her uncle was The Very Reverend Dr Whittington Landon DD, Dean of Exeter Cathedral and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, amongst much more.

As landed gentry, the Landons had wielded power and influence. As clerics, they still had that, but without the inherent material wealth.

All that was left now was Tedstone Court itself, a decaying property that couldn't ultimately be kept. Letitia's reverend grandfather was buried there. Her father had been born there, but he was the one who had to sell it.

Hence the family scattering - some remained in Herefordshire, as clerics or farmers, brazening out the local witness to their hurtle down the social class ladder; one brother went to Yorkshire; another to Wolverhampton; and a sister emigrated to America, where she'd become the ancestor of President Jimmy Carter.

Sermons by Rev Whittington Henry Landon

This book was written by Letitia's little brother.

It was a long fall in prestige, which Letitia's father John felt keenly. As the eldest son, he'd been the one to sound the death knell on their heritage. His bitter move to London was part of a bid to repair their standing. But it didn't work so well. Hence relocating within a handful of years out of fashionable Chelsea and into Hertfordshire.

Yet they were still in Chelsea, and Letitia was barely two, when a neighbor sought to distract her with alphabet tiles strewn onto the carpet. Imagine her shock and surprise, as the tiny girl dived in with fascinated delight.

She received a reward for every letter correctly identified, and each word read out. The two year old, in the words of her father, 'brought home a lot of rewards.'

Letitia Elizabeth Landon Canvas Art Print

The writer grew up in the shadow of wilting memories, casting melancholy and fury upon the present day. She much preferred looking forward than back.

The Schooling of Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Behind every passionate education is a brilliant teacher. L.E.L. found her soul-mate and mentor in Miss Rowden and her Hans Square School for Girls.

Image: Letitia Elizabeth LandonLetitia's precocious genius did not end in toddlerhood. By 1807, she was so desperate for intellectual stimulation, that her parents enrolled her in a school.

Though not unknown, this wasn't entirely the norm for Georgian girls, particularly not fallen gentry, and certainly not at five years old!

The establishment chosen was just a couple of doors away from the Landon home, in Hans Place, Sloane Street, Chelsea. The former at 22 and the latter at 25. The infant Letitia must have grown up seeing that tiny group of school-girls passing by in the care of their two teachers.

Between 1802-1804, those students included Mary Russell Mitford, who entered the school at age 15. She left with such a burning passion for literature - and the firm belief that she could write it regardless of her gender (as the contemporary consensus would otherwise deem) - that she published her first book in 1810. She went on to become one of Britain's most prolific and successful dramatists.

Unfortunately, Letitia missed being in the same classroom by just three years.

Hans Square School was technically owned by French émigré Dominique de Saint-Quentin, but he doesn't appear to have had much do to with the teaching there. His English wife - the former Miss Pitts of Abbey School, Reading - was present and correct. But she only sat in a corner doing needlework and chatting with female visitors.

The curriculum - which included Greek and Latin - was shared between two female teachers. They detested each other with vitriol and vengeance.

I've been unable to discover the name of the first, other than she was called 'Madame' by the pupils. This fiery French lady was the daughter of an aristocrat from Amiens. They'd had to flee to Britain during the Revolution, but hoped to circumvent Napoleon's regime to reclaim their property and possessions. 

Mary Russell Mitford reported that Madame detested 'knowledge and literature and wit', and especially poetry, simply because her arch-nemesis lived for all of the above. Given the track record of the pupils, I think we can safely assume that her rival won the hearts and minds of their charges.

We don't even know Madame's full name. But praises have been sung, in literary outpourings inspired in that classroom through various pens, regarding the apparently iconic Mrs Rowden.

Books by Mrs Rowden | Books by Frances Arabella Rowden

She didn't much hold with the view that women shouldn't write...

Frances Arabella Rowden wasn't married. The 'Mrs' conferred dignity in a world where marriage was the ideal goal for all females. She preferred to study, teach or write books. Or read them. Or go to the theater.

Where Madame was loud and full of heat, Mrs Rowden was cold, contemptuous, scathing and aloof. Particularly where it concerned furious French women, and even more so when said Madame was spouting things like 'poetry is something fatal and contagious, like the plague!'

In many ways, this Ice Age reaction was against Mrs Rowden's nature, as she was generally described as gentle and mild-mannered. Unless she was crossed. Then she reached into a deep reserve of stern Methodism and applied it with precise strictness.

Over a decade before Lord Byron was stung by his little volcano's clever mind, Mrs Rowden was tasked with its education.

Her first job was as governess for the Honorable Caroline Ponsonby, then a young girl, but better known to literature and history as Lady Caroline Lamb.

When Mrs Rowden arrived at Hans Square School to take up her new position, she brought the volatile teenager with her. It didn't last long - and Letitia wasn't there at the time - as Caroline really wasn't suited to sitting around all day being taught stuff.

However, Lady Caroline was later to say that not participating in more formal study was one of her biggest regrets.

Nevertheless, Mrs Rowden imbued Caroline with such a love of literature, that she left already writing prose and poetry. Then much later formed an interest in certain Romantic Poets - well, one quite notably - in probably THE most combustible bad romance of the century.

And, of course, Lady Caroline Lamb retained the skills to write her infamous kiss-and-tell-and-utterly-obliterate-the-reputation-thereof novel Glenarvon. Say what you like about it, she enacted the perfect revenge.

Lady Caroline Lamb Books

Lady Caroline Lamb: A Biography

Lady Caroline Lamb, among Lord Byron's many lovers, stands out - vilified, portrayed as a self-destructive nymphomaniac - her true story has never been told...

View on Amazon

Lady Caroline Lamb

"I HAVE always thought you the cleverest, most agreeable, absurd, amiable, perplexing, dangerous, fascinating little being that lives now or ought to have lived two thousand years ago." Byron on Lady Caroline Lamb

View on Amazon

The Whole Disgraceful Truth: Selected Letters of Lady Caroline Lamb

Lady Caroline Lamb was described by her lover, Lord Byron, as having a heart like a "little volcano"...

View on Amazon

Glenarvon (Valancourt Classics)

"I read 'Glenarvon,' too, by Caro. Lamb....God damn!" - Lord Byron In 1812, Lady Caroline Lamb, wife of a prominent politician and future Prime Minister, began a tempestuous aff...

View on Amazon

Mrs Rowden schooled her girls in Latin grammar; the dissection of Italian literature in particular, but any other would creep in too; philosophy; history - mostly diving into the works of Plutarch; Greek; French (what precisely WAS the French teacher teaching?); and tasked them every Sunday with writing whole sermons on random verses from the Bible.

She encouraged literary interests to be pursued, fanning vague fascination into an inferno of intellectual obsession.

When Mary Russell Mitford expressed a liking for Shakespeare, all else was dropped in order to rush into a frenzy of reading, analyzing and discussing every word he ever wrote. Then watching performances of any Shakespearean play being staged in London at the time. It left Mitford with a life-long love of the bard.

A decade later, it was the future actress and writer Fanny Kemble who was in Mrs Rowden's care. She experienced something similar with Racine's Andromaque, the works of Sir Walter Scott and (amusingly in the circumstances) Lord Byron's poems. As the teacher never lost touch with anyone, it's intriguing to speculate whether Lady Caroline Lamb was brought in to inform on the subject of the latter, though Fanny Kemble's eleven volume memoirs doesn't mention it.

In addition to her own students, Mrs Rowden also maintained a keen correspondence with other talented literary ladies of the day. Elizabeth Barrett Browning is a significant example. Moreover, she introduced them to each other, so that the muse might fly in mutual support.

The teacher was so influential in all of their lives that some of her other traits - like scathing wit and provoking put downs - seem imprinted upon several prodigies' personalities too. In fact, it's difficult to shake the suspicion that Frances Arabella Rowden was the force behind Britain's mini literary explosion of women writers, throughout that period of the early 19th century.

Now THAT is the mark of a good teacher! (Even if she did tell Fanny Kemble that she couldn't act...)

Books Written by Mrs Rowden's Pupils (or Friends)

No-one's saying that she wrote these words, but the redoubtable teacher certainly seemed to enflame an ambition towards crafting literary works.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon might not have shared a classroom with these ladies, but you can be sure that she knew them all. Need more proof than that? Well consider this.

In Lady Caroline Lamb's notorious 1816 novel Glenarvon, the heroine is called Calantha Delaval. She lives in the run-down and desolate Castle Delaval, with her mother Margaret Delaval and brother William, also Delaval. It's an uncommon surname, unlikely to be randomly encountered. But Letitia knew it.

It was her gt-gt-gt grandmother's maiden name. Mary Delaval was the mother of Sir William Landon, who'd lost the family its fortune in the South Sea Bubble disaster. Don't read too much further into it. The rest is basically about Lord Byron.

Caroline had merely needed a surname to latch onto her dispossessed gentry. Letitia apparently supplied one, gleaned from her own father's depressed musings on his own family history. Unless we're reading too much into a bizarre coincidence...

Educating L: Letitia Elizabeth Landon at Hans Square School

L.E.L. didn't just attend the institution to gain an education. She made it her home and the center of her universe, long after she'd technically graduated.

Image: Letitia Elizabeth Landon22 Hans Square was actually a boarding school, but a bed wasn't required for a five year old living three doors away.

At first, Letitia merely delighted in her surroundings, found much to thrill her mind, then went home to Mum and Dad when classes were over for the day. It seems to have not been - nor caused - any hardship that she was not only so young, but ten years the junior of every other girl there.

Perhaps Mrs Rowden tailored her lessons accordingly. Maybe Letitia simply could keep up. The clue might be in what happened next.

In 1809, when she was seven years old, her father reached a decision about his lot. He had been in the military, but now determined that he was going to make a go of farming. Not in his native Herefordshire - that would be too humiliating - but back in Trevor Park, Hertfordshire. The Landon house in Hans Square was packed up and the whole family came with him.

Letitia was not impressed. She was far away from where she wanted to be, and she was bored.

Her father called upon his niece, Elizabeth Landon, to move in with them. She was his brother Samuel's daughter and a well educated young lady of nineteen years old. Perfect for acting as a governess for little Letitia. Or so he thought.

The reality quickly asserted itself. Letitia was simply too intelligent. At seven, she'd already far out-stripped her adult cousin. Elizabeth was magnanimous about it. In fact, she appeared downright proud of her young charge, later recalling,

'In very many instances, in endeavoring to teach, I have myself been taught, the extraordinary memory and genius of the learner soon leaving the humble abilities of the teacher far behind.'

The seven year old had already memorized massive sections of Sir Walter Scott's The Lady of the Lake, especially the battle scenes, which she recited with malice aforethought into her brother's face. She was reading Keats, Byron and Petrarch; devouring Robinson Crusoe and the Arabian Nights; and traveling to Africa, via her imagination, as prompted by travel books.

Her family gave up and sent her back to 22 Hans Square as a boarder.

For the rest of her life, she would consider her school to be home.  Letitia refused point blank to graduate. As she grew into an adult, her travels might take her halfway across the world, but when she returned to Britain, it was to the school, not her family home.

She would sit in on classes, held with students at first so much older, then gradually so much younger than herself.

It didn't matter. Mrs Rowden indulged passions in literature. There was always some new avenue in poetry, prose, plays, memoirs or novels to explore. So Letitia did, like 'a blackbird returning to her nest'.

The Hans Square girls stuck together, bonding over literature like Dead Poets' Society muses made flesh. Yet for all their flights of fancy in fiction, they also seem to have take on board Mrs Rowden's Methodist pragmatism.

Later on, after L.E.L.'s mystique had erupted like wildfire, casting a long glow over the revealed woman eventually exposed as the poet, her peers closed ranks. To protect her and attempt to throw the cold light of reality onto the situation.

Once an unnamed female friend was quoted in the London Gazette, answering a question about L's room in Hans Square school.

'Perhaps to the L.E.L. of whom so many nonsensical things have been said, as that she could write with a crystal pen, dipped in dew, upon silver paper, and use for pounce the dust of a butterfly's wing, a dilettante of literature would assign for the scene of her authorship a fairy-like boudoir with rose-colored and silver hangings and all the luxuries of a fastidious taste.'

Even through the print, the woman's tone drips with scathing sarcasm. If it's not Mrs Rowden talking, then she might as well be. Her challenging influence speaks volumes such provocation through the ages.

The friend then goes on to describe a drawing room, which is 'prettily decorated', and situated in a wing between the main house and the 'Pavilion' at the back. This had been made available for Letitia Landon's use, while she penned her poetry.

But she very rarely used it, preferring instead her own bedroom, towards the top of the main house. A ring of fondness and truth permeates this glimpse into the genius poet's den:

'(a) homely looking, almost uncomfortable room, fronting the street and barely furnished with a simple white bed, at the foot of which was a small, old oblong shaped, sort of dressing table, quite covered with a common worn writing desk, heaped with papers, while some strewed the ground, the table being too small for aught besides a desk; a little high-backed cane chair which gave you any idea rather than that of comfort. A few books scattered about...'

That not only sounds exactly like a writer's space, but I'm staring right at its modern equivalent, as I type these words. Switch the writing desk for a computer and I could well imagine one of my friends similarly reporting my working environment, with a half-smile of understatement regarding the strewn papers and 'few books'.

Thus was L.E.L.'s comfort zone and inner sanctum. Just like any scholar and researching writer ever, our area is more a towering heap of source material than a fairy-tale boudoir. 

However, that was all in the future. Before L could enjoy fame - and the closed ranks of friends around her - she had to live a little yet.  In 1815, the year that Lady Caroline Lamb was writing a book to bring down Byron, Letitia was about to embark upon her own first love affair.

It would haunt her for years to come.

A Working Writer's Desk

On behalf of everyone who knows me, I'd like to apologise for the mess. That's the debris from a few weeks of Maelgwn Gwynedd articles. It works for me.
Image: Jo Harrington's desk and research/writing area.
Image: Jo Harrington's desk and research/writing area.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon's Life and Studies

Unfortunately, these volumes tend to be reproductions of out of print editions. Her celebrity waned by the 20th century, so biographers haven't viewed it worth their time.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon in Love

It doesn't matter how intense the bookworm, when puberty hits, those hormones point due romance with a little 'r'. Keats can wait until tomorrow.

Image: The Love Letter by Henry James RichterThere's always something vaguely creepy about looking at Georgian courtship through modern eyes.

We have to switch off our inner red lights and recall that women did try to marry young. All society and family expected it, though it didn't always work out like that. Meanwhile men were permitted to live life a little, perhaps even into middle age, before hitting the imperative to settle down.

That resulted in a great deal of age discrepancies in marriage matches. No-one blinked too much about older men eying up young girls. Even if the latter were more minor than seems ethical today. Or, indeed, legal.

The picture above is The Love Letter by Henry James Richter. It was painted in 1816 and depicts a fourteen year old Letitia Elizabeth Landon. Just to prove that cosplay is nothing new, she's recreating a scene from Walter Scott's The Antiquity. The privately owned original has a wooden panel, which can be slid out below. L.E.L. hand wrote her poem The Love Letter upon it.

Letitia wasn't fourteen when she met William Jerdan. She was thirteen, and he was a mere 33. 

Jerdan was a friend of her father's. He was at her family's garden gate, emerging from a visit inside, when he first clapped eyes upon his pubescent soon to be beau. As he later recalled:

'My first recollection of the future poet is that of a plump girl, grown enough to be almost mistaken for a woman, bowling a hoop round the walks, with the hoop-stick in one hand and a book in the other, reading as she ran, and as well as she could manage both exercise and instruction at the same time. The exercise was prescribed and insisted upon: the book was her own irrepressible choice.'

Fortunately for all concerned, she didn't appear to have noticed him.  Reading poetry while spinning a hoop, in order to shut your parents up about blasted exercise, does not leave much attention to inspect random Friends of Your Dad in the street.

It would be three more years, when she was sixteen and Jerdan was 36, before the feelings became quite mutual.

L.E.L. Quotation Mugs | Mugs with Quotations from the Poet L

"Green as Hope before it grieves..." and other cheery comments from Georgian Britain's queen of Sentimental poetry.

Back in London for John Landon Esq.

The Wheel of Fortune just kept on pointing south for the eldest son and heir of the Landon estate.

Until the recession hit, John Landon had seemed to be doing alright in Trevor Park.

The years leading up to this moment were a boom time in British agriculture. This was the time of the great enclosures, when over 2000 acts of Parliament progressively shut off more and more previously common ground to the common people.

With the French Wars raging across the Channel, demand for wheat was high and protected. There would be no competition from Gallic farmers.

John Landon's farm had been up and running, bringing in a steady income, if not the salary that a gentleman might think his due. In time it might just have gone some way to restoring his bankrupt family name.

But just to ease matters along a little, John pulled some strings around his old military networks and got in on an Arms Deal.

It should have been fabulous. Military supplies, always in desperate demand, from known sources to old friend recipients. Letitia's father saw his family's best chance, to claw back their former social position and wealth, since old William gambled and lost all in the South Sea Company.

John Landon scraped together more than his little farming concern could comfortably provide, and threw it all into financing shares in the arms business.

But then, on June 18th 1815, there was the Battle of Waterloo. It effectively ended a twenty-two year run of war in Europe; all over but for the paperwork and a Napoleonic exile to St Helena.

That first ray of peace in over two decades was a heady moment, that sent shock-waves across the whole of Europe. A whole generation had reached adulthood in the shadow of the conflict. Some actually on the battle-fields; others enlisting in the military of so many countries, risking life and limb for the promise of a pension, alongside wages that could be sent back home.

Men who had done nothing but live in the heat, adrenaline and grime of battle for so long they envisaged no other scenario, suddenly saw peace.  Governments whose domestic and foreign polices had grown like entrenched vine around the threat of conquest and the preemptive strike of defense, found that they struggled to know how to organize without it.

All over the continent battle-ready and battle-hardened nations were eyeing each other without any immediate frame of reference. Countries could fall under the recoil, and nobody yet knew which ones. The defeat of Napoleon left a power vacuum in Europe, the repercussions of which are - in many minute ways - still unfolding.

The French Wars were neither the first nor the last to rock Europe, but they acted as the most immediate crucible for creating the region as we know it today.

In relief, there was panic. The Age of Revolution not yet given over to the second Age of Empire. For John Landon and his military suppliers, there were no customers. Incomprehensibly, there was no country fighting right now.

He'd sunk his remaining fortune, the remnant garnered from the sale of his ancestral home and the establishment of his farm, into a venture which should not - could not - have ever failed. But Wellington had beaten Napoleon and there was peace.

With peace there came an opening of the Free Trade gates. A massive influx of wheat from France and beyond saw prices toppling into the edge of national crisis. His farm was as worthless as his arms deal.

Parliament wouldn't help, any more than it had with the South Sea Company crash, less than that in fact, because the cost of such a prolonged war had sky-rocketed the national debt. Everything was on the verge of collapse. Market forces based on war had no way of regrouping overnight to cover its absence. Watching Britain teetering on the economic precipice of galloping inflation, its government made one terrible mistake after another, starting with imposing unrealistic taxation upon its poorest sectors of the population.

Right now that included John Landon, in shock and outrage because it never had before. With the countryside and cities alike erupting in small scale violence and the threat of all out riots, John sold his Trevor Park Farm for the best that he could get, and returned with his family to London. No home in posh, well-heeled Hans Square now, they settled in Old Brompton - still in Kensington and Chelsea, but a further rung down the social ladder.

And Letitia was recalled home. Hence the poetry rebellion over the imposition of exercise to burn off her puppy fat. A good marriage for her might yet be the Landon family's only hope.

The Making of the Middle Classes in Britain's Empire Century

The Landons were by no means the only landed gentry impoverished in this era. Part of the fall out would be the emergence of a middle class, able to cash in on the Empire.

Part Two... Oh dear...

My apologies. I had no intention of making this a series, especially when I still have another one to complete!  But it appears that I had quite a bit to say.

This seems a good juncture to pause for a while.  With L.E.L. on the brink of womanhood and the first publications of her poems, and Britain about to welcome a new king on the throne.  The country will repair itself with aggression across the globe plastering over the cracks. And L will do something similar.

If we could go back to that age now, the people there would be amazed that we ever forgot her.

Continue L.E.L's Biographical Story Here

Letitia Elizabeth Landon (aka L or L.E.L.) was an influential Georgian poet and writer, whose fans and imitators included Tennyson, Christina Rossetti and Edgar Allan Poe.
L.E.L. was one of Georgian England's greatest stars. A female writer with an enigmatic life, whose mysterious end was allowed to eclipse her poetry.

L.E.L. Quotations

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Ella Wheeler Wilcox and Christina Rosetti will all eventually cite L.E.L. as an influence. Here's a preview why.

MP3 Poetry of Letitia Elizabeth Landon Album Download

The Poetical Works of L.E. Landon Collection

Updated: 05/10/2014, JoHarrington
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Caroline on 05/12/2017

I found my way here looking for information about Hans Place in Sloane Square, and I've learned so much more - thank you! I don't suppose you could point me in the direction of a reliable source about everyday life at Hans Place?

Now off to find this marvellous poetry, LEL and Mrs Rowden both :)

JoHarrington on 07/05/2014

She did it in illustration of the picture, which was reproduced in 1833 for that purpose. I'm really pleased to find someone taking an interest in the subject and period though! Thanks for the heads up.

J on 06/24/2014

The picture by Richter is an illustration from Sir Walter Scott's The Antiquary, published in 1816, and has nothing to do with a 14-year-old Landon, who published her poem The Love Letter in 1833 when she was 31.

JoHarrington on 04/29/2014

She's certainly got my interest! I think I'm ready to write part two now, but it's late, so I'll leave it tomorrow.

Darla Sue Dollman on 04/29/2014

Scandal, romance--I can't wait to see more! She is definitely an intriguing person!

JoHarrington on 04/29/2014

I really liked Mrs Rowden too! I should have pulled her out and given her an article of her own.

I've been reading L's poems, and biographies, and critiques, and blah blah insertions about what it all meant, all day. I've barely written a word, but right now my mind is so full of this stuff. I'm in Skype if you have 10 mins to talk poetry and Feminism.

I've not read enough of her poetry yet to pick one out. What I have read has been slightly hit and miss, but I also understand why. Some bits are amazing. L is definitely a genius. :)

Ember on 04/29/2014

I was almost more interested in Mrs Rowden here. Really kick-ass woman, I think.

Do you have a favorite poem from her?

(Also, I couldn't help but notice a few small details, such as 'genius' and a pseudonym of 'L' >.>)

JoHarrington on 04/29/2014

Yay! Then that means that my work here is well and truly done. And the second part will be coming when I've finished researching it (and getting much side-tracked into interesting detours).

Mira on 04/29/2014

I see :) You certainly work your magic on your research. It entices me to read things outside my radar, which is a great thing.
Finished reading this one. Looking forward to Part II.

JoHarrington on 04/29/2014

I did that once with an Irish article and it looked so very messy. Besides, I'm not writing it as an academic piece per se, at least not any more than I'm naturally inclined to do after all that training!

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