Poems attributed to Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) from The Keepsake, 1838

Attributed to
Letitia Elizabeth Landon
(L. E. L.)
The Keepsake, 1838

Peter J. Bolton

The First
The Last


All contributions to The Keepsake, 1838 were kept anonymous. However, Sypher believes these two poems are by Landon and includes them in the closing notes to his Poems from the Annuals. They follow on from the opening story "The Royal Marriage", which is known to be by Landon from a surviving manuscript.

The reviewer in Fraser’s Magazine at the time clearly agrees because he wrote:—

A pretty lady, of course, by Chalon, for a frontispiece: next comes an engraving, called, touchingly, "The First." This represents a Greek kissing a Turkish lady; and following it, is a third plate, with heart-breaking pathos entitled "The Last." It is our old friend Conrad, with Medora dead in her bed; but there are some other words tricked up to this old tune: "What, is the ladye sleeping?" &c. We think we can recognise, in spite of the incog., the fair writer who calls Conrad’s mistress a ladye.

The metamorphosis of the dead into sculpture is a theme that is typical of Landon.