Anna Seward’s Journal and Sermons now available from Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Cambridge Scholars Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of Anna Seward’s Journal and Sermons by Teresa Barnard.
Anna Seward, eighteenth-century poet, biographer, and letter-writer, wrote her juvenile journal in the form of a series of letters to an imaginary friend, “Emma”. Seward intended the letters as an autobiographical account of the period of her youth before she achieved fame as a published poet. Towards the end of her life, she collated her works for posthumous publication, bequeathing the manuscripts to Walter Scott. However, as Scott disliked much of the anecdotal substance of the juvenile letters, he censored them, removing over half of the contents before publication.
This volume restores the journal to its original format, making the case for Seward’s importance as a social and cultural commentator. The letters discuss topical events and private concerns, illuminating not only Seward’s life, but also giving fascinating insights into the manners and mores of mid-eighteenth-century provincial life in England. Also included in this volume is a portfolio of four Anglican sermons written by Seward and delivered by unsuspecting clergymen. These were also excised by Scott who agreed with Seward’s family that they were too controversial to publish as their author was a woman. The sermons provide retrospective evidence of Seward’s efforts to contribute to feminist Enlightenment debate. Introducing them into the public domain now gives us an understanding of women’s unacknowledged achievements and also of their silencing.
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About the Author
Teresa Barnard is Visiting Fellow at the University of Derby, UK. Her publications include Anna Seward: A Constructed Life and British Women and the Intellectual World in the Long Eighteenth Century.