About Adelaide Anne Procter
Adelaide Anne Proctor’s father was a poet, and her mother actively encouraged her daughter’s interest in poetry. She submitted her early work to Charles Dickens’s publication Household Words under the pseudonym Miss Berwick. When Dickens became aware that Miss Berwick was Proctor, he continued to publish her work in his popular periodicals.
In 1858, Proctor published a two‑volume collection of poetry, Legends and Lyrics. Its appealingly direct language and edifying themes ensured it ran to multiple editions.
A convert to Catholicism, she committed herself to progressive, philanthropic work, arguing for women’s equality in property rights, employment and education. She supported Catholic widows and orphans through the Providence Row Night Refuge and was active in the Society to Promote the Employment of Women. In the last ten years of her life, before her early death at thirty‑nine, poetry, campaigning for the rights of women and social reform were all inextricably linked.