Felicia Hemans

Felicia Hemans

b. 1793 d. 1835


With mast, and helm, and pennon fair, that well had borne their part - but the noblest thing which perish’d there, was that young faithful heart. - Felicia Hemans 'Casabianca'


About Felicia Hemans

Felicia Hemans’s ‘Casabianca’ took on such a vibrant life of its own after her death that, somehow, its author became almost irrelevant. In fact, Hemans was an accomplished and prolific poet who wrote over twenty volumes of verse before her death at the age of forty‑two.

After she had given birth to five children, Hemans’s husband deserted her to live in Italy, and her writing served to help support her large family. She became a literary celebrity, garnering praise from the likes of Wordsworth and George Eliot, but her work was also criticized for its simplicity and sentimentality.

Felicia Hemans may now be a relatively neglected poet, but her popularity and influence in the middle‑ and upper‑class homes of nineteenth‑century England should not be underestimated. In more recent times, her sequence of poems recording the experiences of women in the nineteenth century, Records of Women, has been much admired.