Anna Laetitia Barbauld Criticism - Essay

The Nation, New York (essay date 1874)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Mrs. Barbauld," in The Nation, New York, Vol. XVIII, No. 456, March 26, 1874, pp. 206-07.

[In the following excerpt, the writer summarizes Barbauld's contributions to English literature.]

We fear that not many of our readers will have very distinct ideas suggested to their minds by the name of the excellent woman whose memory Mrs. Ellis has revived in the two handsome volumes noted below [The Life and Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, 1874]. Devout churchgoers may have noticed her name in their hymn-books as the author of some of the finest religious lyrics which they contain; and such of them as shall have passed the "mezzo del cammin" of life may...

(The entire section is 686 words.)

Anne I. Ritchie (essay date 1881)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Mrs. Barbauld," in Littell's Living Age, Vol. XXXVI, No. 1955, December 10, 1881, pp. 579-93.

[In the following excerpt, Ritchie discusses Barbauld's political convictions and reviews several of her poems and essays.]

"The first poetess I can recollect is Mrs. Barbauld, with whose works I became acquainted—before those of any other author, male or female—when I was learning to spell words of one syllable in her story-books for children." So says Hazlitt in his lectures on living poets. He goes on to call her a very pretty poetess, strewing flowers of poesy as she goes.

The writer of this little notice must needs, from the same point of...

(The entire section is 2138 words.)

Sam Pickering (essay date 1975)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Mrs. Barbauld's Hymns in Prose: 'An Air-Blown Particle' of Romanticism?" in Southern Humanities Review, Vol. IX, No. 3, Summer, 1975, pp. 259-68.

[In the following excerpt, Pickering examines Barbauld's place in the history of children's literature and suggests that her writings influenced the development of English Romanticism.]

Pinpointing the origins of the Romantic Movement is like tracing the evolution of man. New and embarrassing ancestors will forever turn up in isolated rifts in Kenya or in the backwaters of eighteenth-century journals. Wordsworth and Coleridge did not leap full grown from the forehead of Calliope, but were instead the poetic...

(The entire section is 3610 words.)

Ann Messenger (essay date 1986)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Heroics and Mock Heroics: John Milton, Alexander Pope, and Anna Laetitia Barbauld," in His and Hers: Essays in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature, The University Press of Kentucky, 1986, pp. 172-96.

[In the following excerpt, Messenger analyzes Barbauld's use of the mock-heroic mode in her satirical writings, particularly "The Groans of the Tankard" and "Washing-Day. "

Satire, that mode for which the earlier decades of the eighteenth century are so justly famous, fell into increasing disrepute [during the eighteenth century]. There had always been a few who protested against the ugliness of satire, suspicious that the satirist was ill-natured,...

(The entire section is 7792 words.)

Catherine E. Moore (essay date 1986)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "'Ladies . . . Taking the Pen in Hand': Mrs. Barbauld's Criticism of Eighteenth-Century Women Novelists," in Fetter'd or Free? British Women Novelists, 1670-1815, edited by Mary Anne Schofield and Cecilia Macheski, Ohio University Press, 1986, pp. 383-97.

[In the following excerpt, Moore reviews Barbauld's essays on novelists and argues that she made important contributions to the history and theory of the novel.]

A versatile woman—poet, essayist, polemicist, hymnwriter, children's writer, educator, critic—Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1743-1825) never wrote a novel. As an avid reader of novels, as well as a respected writer for nearly forty years, and the editor...

(The entire section is 5237 words.)