Anna Seward

(1171 words)
  • Harriet Devine (Edge Hill University)

Celebrated in her lifetime as “the Swan of Lichfield”, Anna Seward was born in Eyam, in Derbyshire, where her father Thomas Seward was Rector. Her mother Elizabeth, née Hunter, was the daughter of the headmaster of Lichfield Grammar School, where Samuel Johnson had been a pupil. She was the only surviving child of four: a sister and a brother died in infancy, and her younger sister Sarah in 1764. Her most intense feelings were reserved for her adopted sister, Honora Sneyd. Nine years younger than Anna, she came to live with the Sewards as a child and remained in their household for thirteen years.

In 1750 her father became Canon of Lichfield Cathedral, and four years later the family moved into the Bishop's Palace, where A…

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Devine, Harriet. "Anna Seward". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 November 2002
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. English Romanticism
  2. The Sonnet Tradition