Helen Maria Williams

Helen Maria Williams

About Helen Maria Williams

Helen Maria Williams was a British poet and novelist. Breaking away from the Church of England, she was in favor of the abolition of slavery as well as the ideals of the French Revolution. In London she met the poet Andrew Kippis, who introduced her to the leading intellectuals of the time. With Kippi's help, Williams was able to publish her first poem, the romance Edwin and Eltruda, A Legendary Tale, in 1782. In the years that followed, Ode on the Peace (1783) and Peru (1784), a historical poem about European exploitation of South America, appeared. Williams' two-volume Collected Poems of 1786 sold well. A year later she published another poem on a controversial topic, Poem on the Slave Bill. Their attitude to the slave question influenced the works of Hannah More and Ann Yearsley.
She is buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery in France where she was imprisoned by Robespierre in Paris during the Terror. She spent a large part of her life in France where she translated into English the work of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Paul et Virginie..

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