Snapshot of History: “Adelaide Anne Procter – British Poet and Philanthropist”

Adelaide Anne Procter

Adelaide Anne Procter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceHistoryNews says Adelaide Anne Procter (1825–1864) was a British poet and philanthropist. She worked for unemployed women and the homeless, and was actively involved with feminist groups and journals. Procter’s literary career began when she was a teenager; her poems were primarily published in Charles Dickens’s periodicals Household Words and All the Year Round and later appeared in book form. Her charity work and her conversion to Roman Catholicism appear to have strongly influenced her poetry, which deals mostly with such subjects as homelessness, poverty, and “fallen women“. Procter was the favourite poet of Queen Victoria. Her poetry went through numerous editions in the 19th century; Coventry Patmore called her the most popular poet of the day, after Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Nonetheless, by the early 20th century her reputation had diminished. The few modern critics who have given her work attention argue that her work is significant, in part for what it reveals about how Victorian women expressed otherwise repressed feelings. Procter never married, and some of her poetry has prompted speculation that she was a lesbian.

She died of tuberculosis at the age of 38.

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