Ann Yearsley

Stephen Van-Hagen (University of Coventry)
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Ann Yearsley, later known as “Lactilla” or “The Bristol Milkwoman”, and one half of the most publicised falling out between a labouring-class poet and their patron in the final decades of the eighteenth century, was baptised Ann Cromartie on Clifton Hill, Bristol, in 1753. Yearsley’s mother, though a milkseller as her daughter would be, was not only literate, but taught her daughter to read, borrowing books from travelling libraries to further her education. In 1774 the poet married John Yearsley, a day labourer. She gave birth to six children over the next ten years, two of whom did not survive infancy, helping to support them by selling milk door to door. In the winter of 1783-4, a series of disasters befell the Yearsleys and they became destitute. At a time of food shortages,…

8441 words

Citation: Van-Hagen, Stephen. "Ann Yearsley". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 March 2007; last revised 10 March 2022. [, accessed 19 April 2024.]

4830 Ann Yearsley 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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