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The New International Encyclopædia/Hemans, Felicia Dorothea (Browne)

HEM′ANS, Felicia Dorothea (Browne) (1793-1835). An English poet, born in Liverpool. Her early taste for poetry was so far encouraged that she was permitted to publish a volume of juvenile verse in 1808. This was followed with another volume in 1812, in which year she married Captain Hemans, an Irish gentleman, who had served in Spain. In 1818, after the birth of five sons, she separated from him. She spent the rest of her life in North Wales, in Lancashire, and in Dublin, where she died. Among her works are: The Forest Sanctuary (1825), in the second edition of which, published in 1829, first appeared “Casabianca;” Records of Women (1828); Songs of the Affections (1830); Hymns for Childhood; National Lyrics and Songs for Music; and Scenes and Hymns of Life (1834). She also wrote three dull plays, and contributed to the magazines. A volume of Poetical Remains appeared after her death, and a complete edition of her works, with a memoir by her sister, in seven volumes, in 1839. Mrs. Hemans, without great daring or force, is sweet, natural, and pleasing; but too fluent, she wrote too much and too hastily. Her lyrics are her best productions, her more ambitious poems being very insipid. Still, she was a woman of talent, and some of her little pieces, such as “The Graves of a Household,” “The Treasures of the Deep,” and “The Homes of England,” are admirable in pathos and sentiment. Consult: Chorley, Memorials of Felicia D. Hemans (London, 1836); Poetical Works, with memoir, ed. by W. M. Rossetti (ib., 1873); and Espinasse, Lancashire Worthies (ib., 1874).