Autograph Poems and Letters of Felicia Hemans, and related items
It is because of Felicia Hemans' connections with Liverpool that this library has collected her poems, autograph letters and related items. The items are listed below in order of their accession by this library.
The most comprehensive anthologies of Felicia Hemans' poems are : Poems of Felicia Hemans, 1851 (6 vols.) and The Poetical Works of Mrs. Hemans; reprinted from the early editions, [c. 1876]. These two works are referred to in the list below as P.F.H. and P.W.M.H. respectively.
Felicia Dorothea Browne was born in Liverpool in 1793, the daughter of a merchant. In 1800 the family was obliged to leave Liverpool and seek a new home near Abergele in North Wales.
Felicia's first poem On My Mother's Birthday was written when she was eight years old, and at the age of fifteen she published her Poems, and later the same year, England and Spain; or, valour and patriotism, 1808. In 1809 Felicia became acquainted with Captain Hemans, her future husband, and they married in 1812. Captain and Mrs. Hemans went to live at Daventry in Northamptonshire, where, in the following year, their eldest son Arthur was born, but soon after they returned to Bronwylfa, where the Browne family now resided.
In 1818 Felicia Hemans' husband left her to take up residence in Italy and never returned and in 1828 she returned to Liverpool, taking up residence at Wavertree, but she only remained there for three years, moving to Dublin in 1831 where she died in 1835 at the age of 41.
Felicia Hemans enjoyed considerable literary successes, publishing a number of books, and gaining several prizes. Her most remembered poem is probably Casabianca, 1829, although the first line "The boy stood on the burning deck" is better known than the title.