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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Hyde 82

Anna Seward papers


Letters by poet Anna Seward, mostly to Penelope Sophia Weston Pennington, often discussing literature, Samuel Johnson and Sir Walter Scott.


  • 1781-1807

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


.5 linear feet (1 box)
Series I, Correspondence, includes 33 autograph letters by Seward, mostly to Penelope Sophia Weston Pennington, items (6-11), as well as three letters which Seward received from William Hayley, item (2). Many of the letters concern her literary career, and the literary efforts of other authors. Samuel Johnson and Sir Walter Scott are also recurring topics.

Series II, Manuscripts, consists of two poems in Seward's hand.

Biographical / Historical

Anna Seward (1742-1809) was born in Eyam, Derbyshire, and resided in Lichfield, England from age thirteen until her death. In addition to her career as a poet, she carried on a voluminous correspondence with many literary figures. Known as "The Swan of Lichfield," she had an uneasy relationship with her town's other famous literary figure, Samuel Johnson.


Arranged into the following series:
  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Manuscripts

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

2003JM-58 (part). Bequest of Mary Hyde Eccles, Four Oaks Farm, Somerville, New Jersey; received: 2004.

Related Materials

Several related items are also part of the Hyde Collection, including seven letters from William Hayley to Seward in MS Hyde 76; and four letters and a poem by Seward in MS Hyde 77.

Letters of Anna Seward (Edinburgh: George Ramsay & Co., 1811)

Processing Information

Processed by: Rick Stattler
Link to catalog
Seward, Anna, 1742-1809. Anna Seward papers, 1781-1807: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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