Charlotte Smith: Elegiac Sonnets, and Other Essays

(5884 words)
  • Bethan Roberts (University of Liverpool)

Elegiac Sonnets and Other Essays. By Charlotte Smith, of Bignor Park, Sussex was first published in June 1784: a slim quarto edition funded by Smith herself. It went on to expand through multiple editions, with a final total of ninety-two sonnets by 1800, and met with popular and critical acclaim. Smith is widely credited with reviving the moribund sonnet form in the late eighteenth century, which had been used little during the hundred years following Milton’s death in 1674, yet became one of the most popular poetic forms of the Romantic period. As well as for reviving the sonnet, Smith has been celebrated as “the first poet in England whom in retrospect we would call Romantic” (Curran “Introduction” xix; see also

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Roberts, Bethan. "Elegiac Sonnets, and Other Essays". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 January 2014
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. English Romanticism