University of Virginia Library


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by William McCarthy

In 1773 Anna Letitia Barbauld and her brother, John Aikin, published a volume of their essays, Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose. Six of the ten essays in that volume reappeared, attributed to Barbauld, in the 1825 edition of Barbauld's Works compiled by her niece, Lucy Aikin, after Barbauld's death. Aside from those six, Lucy Aikin reprinted seven essays from other sources.1 The thirteen essays thus reprinted by Lucy Aikin appeared to constitute Barbauld's total output of short prose pieces.

In fact Barbauld published more prose than Lucy Aikin reprinted, or, probably, knew of. Works is obviously incomplete: it does not include Barbauld's signed literary criticism (the prefaces to Akenside, Collins, Richardson's Correspondence, The Spectator, and The British Novelists) or her books for children. It also silently omits several unsigned pieces acknowledged by her, chiefly the two Civic Sermons from 1792. Furthermore, references in letters by Barbauld and John Aikin imply a larger body of post-Miscellaneous Pieces essay-writing than the seven pieces Lucy Aikin reprinted. Finally, John Kenrick, a stepson of Barbauld's close friend Elizabeth Belsham Kenrick who had access to Barbauld letters and manuscript poems now lost, attributed to Barbauld essays and reviews not mentioned by Lucy Aikin. A difference between Lucy's and Kenrick's attitudes towards Barbauld attribution can be gathered from their ways of noticing Barbauld's reviews (unsigned) for The Annual Review, edited by her nephew Arthur Aikin and published by


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Longmans. Lucy Aikin acknowledged them grudgingly, as if Barbauld had dirtied her hands: she "reluctantly took part of the poetry and polite literature in one or two of the earliest volumes." Kenrick, citing a letter from Arthur Aikin to a friend, simply declared that Barbauld wrote "the leading articles in poetry and belles letters."2 Kenrick appears to have spoken from knowledge, and Lucy Aikin to have been ignorant, or disingenuous. In any case Aikin's editing was hasty: Barbauld died on 9 March 1825, and Works was published on 8 July.3

In Anna Letitia Barbauld, Voice of the Enlightenment, I reported that Barbauld published a number of prose pieces anonymously or pseudonymously in magazines and that the disappearance or destruction of her papers and the archives of her publishers made identifying them problematic, but that I had compiled a list of candidates I was not then ready to declare.4 In attribution work, however, "ready" is often a purely relative term. Absent new information that may still turn up, and in the belief that Barbauld's writings will in time be genuinely collected, I propose to tell here what is known and what I surmise about her uncollected periodical prose, and to publish my list of additions to and candidates for her canon. Two of the additions have been reprinted already by Elizabeth Kraft and me in our Barbauld anthology from Broadview Press, and several candidates are discussed in Voice of the Enlightenment.5 Here I offer a synoptic account of both kinds, which may stand in the place of arguments for attributions in a future Collected Works.

In letters, Barbauld and her brother referred several times to her interest in writing essays or her actual writing of them. Congratulating her on settling near London, John Aikin saw "a glorious opportunity" to collaborate on "a periodical paper." Aikin recurred to a topic he had probably urged before, knowing Barbauld's fondness for The Spectator (to which she had alluded in a recent letter to him). It's as if he is inviting her to pick up the collaboration they had left off with Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose. Ten years earlier, Barbauld for her part had humorously proposed to him that they put their "fragments" together in a 'Joineriana."6


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Early in 1791 Aikin returned to the idea of a periodical—this time, a magazine. Neither Barbauld nor her husband felt equal to conducting a magazine, so she declined (28 February 1791). But in mid-1792 she undertook to write, at the risk of prosecution, a political periodical called Civic Sermons to the People. Two numbers appeared anonymously, and Aikin announced that "the author" intended to continue the series. Civic Sermons did not continue; perhaps Joseph Johnson, its publisher, feared prosecution, or Barbauld found that she could not keep up the pace.7 At the turn of 1793, now nervous herself about political reprisals, she cautioned her nephew Charles not to give copies of a "Dialogue," a "Fragment," and a "Historical Fragment" she sent him in manuscript (4 January [1793]). The "Dialogue" is likely to have been the one "between Madam Cosmogunia and a Philosophical Inquirer" published unsigned in the Monthly Magazine with a date of 1 January 1793 and reprinted by Lucy Aikin. The other two pieces are not known today.

Early and late in 1793 there appeared in the Morning Chronicle, a liberal newspaper conducted by James Perry, two Barbauld pieces: a poem, "To Dr. Priestley, Dec. 29, 1792," and a letter purporting to transmit the speech of a French curé to the Revolutionary Convention. Neither was signed. Barbauld complained that the poem was published behind her back, but she acknowledged it in the same letter to her nephew that mentions the dialogue and fragments; by 1795 her authorship was known, and the poem is reprinted in Works. Whether she or another published the "curé"'s letter is not known, but the letter was reprinted almost immediately with a preface by "Bob Short," for the benefit of Spitalfield silk-weavers whose trade had been choked by the war; by 1806 the letter was known to be Barbauld's, and it too is reprinted in Works.8 Thus there is some ground for suspecting that other pieces in the Morning Chronicle may be hers also, although their identity (with one possible exception, Bi below) would be highly conjectural.

When John Aikin took on the literary editorship of Richard Phillips's Monthly Magazine early in 1796, his dream of collaborating again with his sister must have revived. It was known outside the family that she had promised to write for the Monthly,9 and on two occasions Aikin told correspondents that Barbauld did write for it: "she has enriched the miscellany with several contributions which I believe have been of much advantage to its reputation," and (less assertively) she "now & then gives me a trifle (I mean as to bulk) for the Magazine."10 I have said that Lucy Aikin reprinted six essays and six poems from the Monthly. All are unsigned in their Monthly printings, except for one poem signed "A.L.B." and two essays, the one signed in its title "Letter of John Bull," and the one signed "Henry Homelove."11 Lucy did not reprint an unsigned memoir of Thomas Mulso or


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a memoir of Hester Mulso Chapone signed "A.L.B.", both of which Barbauld acknowledged (A10 and A13, below). On 4 November [1801?], Barbauld wrote to Phillips refusing his request to reprint Monthly Magazine essays by her, for "I may very probably some time publish a Volume of Prose pieces, & therefore cannot conveniently lessen my stock."12 No such volume ever appeared; but if she intended it to comprise her Monthly essays, she must have had more than six to reprint. In their Works and Legacy texts, the six Monthly essays total only 75 loosely-printed pages.

The idea of a periodical paper surfaced again in 1804, this time from Maria and Richard Lovell Edgeworth: they urged Barbauld to superintend a periodical whose contributors would be exclusively women. As she had in 1791, Barbauld begged off superintending (30 August 1804). She also deprecated the idea of a "ladies-only" magazine. But she expressed willingness to contribute papers so long as she wasn't tied to a schedule, and she went on to reflect on essay-writing and her own tastes in it:

A paper is a pleasing mode of writing, as it admits equally the lightest and the gravest subjects; the most desultory, and the most profound, if treated concisely; but humour and character, the manners and modes of the times seem to be the subject more particularly called for.... I should think signatures, that might be afterwards acknowledged like those in the Spectator, would in general be more agreeable to the feelings of the writers than the giving the name at first.... Once it was a favorite scheme of mine, had my brother been willing to join, and I had then several little pieces which might have answered such a purpose, but they have been scattered about in Magazines, and I dare not trust to the future, expecting naturally to grow duller and duller, and besides always writing slow, so that I should not dare to bring upon myself an obligation ... of supplying the press at stated times, whether I have anything to say or not—but I would rank with pleasure among the occasional contributors.

In 1807 Joseph Johnson was under the impression that Barbauld had joined with Edgeworth and Elizabeth Hamilton in a periodical-essay project; though mistaken in this, his belief might have stemmed from knowledge of her taste for essay-writing or her practice of it elsewhere.13

In 1804 Barbauld agreed to select and introduce a three-volume anthology of essays from The Spectator, Tatler, Guardian, and Freeholder, a project that renewed her appreciation of Addison and Steele and her interest in the history of manners and styles. Then, in January and February 1807, in the first two numbers of John Aikin's new periodical the Athenaeum, appeared a two-part essay, "Comparison of Manners," signed "Balance." Writing to another contributor, Aikin coyly said that "the correspondent on whose paper on the comparison of manners you bestow such flattering applause is very certain to continue his exertions for the


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Athenaeum as long as it is under my direction." In 1874 Kenrick reported that Barbauld "furnished two papers suggested by her recent study of the British Essayists to the Athenaeum."14 All indications converge here: these two essays (A17 below) are Barbauld's, even though neither they nor any other pieces from the Athenaeum were reprinted by Lucy Aikin.

In 1807 also, Barbauld began sending occasional pieces to the Monthly Repository, a Unitarian-leaning journal edited by Robert Aspland. Five of her poems first appeared there, only two of them signed (one by "A.L.B." and one prefaced by a short note signed "A. L. Barbauld"); all were reprinted by Lucy Aikin.15 Also appearing there, unsigned but later attributed by Lucy, was Barbauld's memoir of her husband (A21 below). And finally, in 1810 Barbauld acknowledged to Maria Edgeworth that she had written a letter to the Gentleman's Magazine defending Edgeworth against a hostile review in the Quarterly; this piece was signed "Y.Z."16 It too is not in Works.

More than a year after the appearance of Lucy Aikin's Barbauld editions, four "discourses" were published as Barbauld's by her other nephew and adopted son, Charles Rochemont Aikin, in the Monthly Repository. Aikin introduced them with a preface:

Amongst many papers (mostly fragments) left by my late venerable aunt, Mrs. Barbauld, are a few discourses written at various periods of her life, and I believe not intended by her for publication, which it was not thought expedient to add to the collection of her finished works lately published.17
Perhaps feeling authorized by this publication, Anna Maria Hall, editing The Juvenile Forget-Me-Not ... for the Year 1830, printed "The Misses (addressed to a careless girl.) By the late Mrs Barbauld." Perhaps, too, in response to a sharp rebuke by Lucy Aikin to publication elsewhere of two occasional poems by Barbauld, Hall took pains to declare "The Misses" authentic.18

From this survey, what principles can be derived to guide us in Barbauld attribution?

The most customary evidence for attribution is the most obvious: the piece was originally published over Barbauld's name or was collected by Lucy Aikin, or both. (But even such evidence is not infallible: Aikin reprinted as Barbauld's a hymn by Robert Barnard.19) Some pieces, however, though neither published over Barbauld's name nor collected by Aikin, were eventually claimed by Bar-


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bauld (examples are her memoirs of Thomas Mulso and Hester Mulso Chapone, A10 and A13 below), or were attributed to her in her lifetime and tacitly acknowledged, like Lessons for Children.20

One signature Barbauld is known to have used is "A.L.B.": it subjoined the first appearances of two poems included in Works, the Chapone memoir, and the preface to Hymns in Prose for Children. In the journals to which she is known to have contributed, I have seen no instance of those initials appearing below a piece whose attribution to her is contradicted by other information. Pieces signed "A.L.B." in journals that printed other work identified as hers (either at the time or later, by herself or by Lucy Aikin) may therefore be attributed confidently to her.21

Attribution by another witness who is well situated to know may also constitute adequate evidence for Barbauld's authorship. Besides Barbauld's Aikin relatives and John Kenrick, such a witness was G. E. Griffiths, editor of the Monthly Review, who annotated every review with an abbreviation signifying its author's name; between July 1809 and October 1815 he annotated 345 reviews with the abbreviation "Mrs. Bar.," "Mrs. Bd.," or, following these, "D[itt]o."22 In the case at least of Barbauld, "well situated to know" is an important qualification. Contemporaries attributed the whole of John Aikin's Evenings at Home to her, although, according to Lucy Aikin in 1825, Barbauld wrote only fourteen of the 99 pieces in it; and John's essay "On the Pleasure derived from Objects of Terror, with Sir Bertrand, a Fragment" was routinely attributed to Barbauld.23


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Pieces not signed with Barbauld’s name or initials, not collected by Lucy Aikin, not known to have been claimed by Barbauld, and not attributed to her by someone else, fall into the category bewailed by Harold Love in Attributing Authorship: An Introduction: "Of all the tasks facing attribution studies, that of uncredited journalism and pamphleteering from the eighteenth to the mid-twentieth century is the most daunting."24 The attribution problems these pieces present resemble those of the Defoe canon. In what follows, then, my effort to derive attribution principles from what we know about Barbauld will be guided by the "Principles of Author-attribution" set forth by P. N. Furbank and W. R. Owens in their Critical Bibliography of Daniel Defoe. The main issue concerns "internal" evidence of authorship. "The question," Furbank and Owens write,

what can properly be regarded as internal evidence, is complex. One important class of such evidence will be close resemblance to the author’s known works, especially close verbal resemblance or unacknowledged quotation, but also close similarity in regard to some idiosyncratic train of thought. Internal evidence, to be convincing, is likely to consist of more than one piece, and a stylistic resemblance can be strengthened as evidence by known facts about the author. ...25
By "verbal resemblance," Furbank and Owens emphatically do not mean "favourite phrases"; appeal to an author’s supposed favorite phrases they regard as "a dangerous delusion." Having myself attributed to Barbauld, partly on the basis of "favourite phrases," a poem by William Smyth, I am ruefully alive to the wisdom of that view. 26 However,
On the other hand we regard it as legitimate in attribution to pay regard to favourite allusions (anecdotes, historical references, legendary stories and the like) and also to favourite quotations. ... How much weight [to give them] is a difficult question and will depend very much on the context and on how many of them there are in a given work; at best they are a relatively weak prop to an ascription, but sometimes they are all, or almost all, that one has to go on. (p. xxvii)

Even so, Furbank and Owens set themselves "a strict rule not to treat a work as certainly by Defoe on the basis of internal evidence alone" (p. xxvi). They also adopted the principle that evidence for attribution should never be based "on some other merely probable attribution"; rather, every new ascription "should draw solely upon works indisputably by the author in question" (p. xxv).

Although Defovians have objected to the Furbank-Owens "de-attributions" as needlessly shrinking the Defoe canon and as biased against works Furbank and Owens consider literally inferior, the Furbank-Owens principles wisely ad-


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monish us to attribute with caution. Adopting these principles, I now attempt to profile Barbauld’s practices in essay-writing.27

She avowed a taste for writing essays of "humour and character" on "the manners and modes of the times." Essays of that sort known to be hers are "Letter on Watering-Places" signed "Henry Homelove" (both humorous and about current fashion), "Comparison of Manners" signed "Balance" (more historical in emphasis), and "Letter of John Bull" (on the rage for loyalty oaths, mocking political fashion). The signatures to these essays suggest that Barbauld adopted the practice from older periodical essays of signing character pieces with thematic or "speaking" names. (She also signed her Address to the Opposers of the Repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts and Sins of Government, Sins of the Nation in that way: the first was signed "A Dissenter" and the second "A Volunteer"—in both instances, presumably to disguise her sex.) In journals to which she is known to have contributed, pieces so signed are potential candidates for her canon. They are especially so in the Monthly Magazine, for the great majority of contributed pieces there are signed with initials or with what appear to be the writers’ real names; thematic names of the kind she used in these pieces are infrequent.28

Barbauld also once signed an essay with initials that were not her own: her letter to the Gentleman’s Magazine defending Edgeworth, signed "Y.Z."—perhaps in telonymic allusion to her real initials, "A.B." A signature composed of initials not her own may thus be hers, especially if it can be seen as wittily allusive or as referring in some way to Addison’s practice in The Spectator. Addison, Barbauld knew, signed his essays with one of the four letters composing the name "Clio."29 Her signature "Balance" in the manners essay alludes to an Addison essay, "The Balance. A Vision" (Spectator 463), included in her Selections. But many pieces (most, in fact, of those that first appeared in the Monthly Magazine) she did not sign at all. The absence of signature, then, does not exclude the possibility that a piece is hers.

A further ground of attribution has been suggested to me by Scott Krawczyk: indications that a piece published in a magazine edited by John Aikin (the Monthly and the Athenaeum) enters into dialogue with, or is engaged in dialogue by, a piece known to be by Aikin. An example would be "Thoughts on Prophecy" (A5 below), which is answered by Aikin’s "Literary Prophecies for 1797 " Such dialogical behavior was typical for Anna Letitia and her brother, joint authors as they were of a volume, Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose, in which two of the essays


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(one by her and one by him) play off Edmund Burke’s theories of the Sublime and the Beautiful.30

Humor and manners were not Barbauld’s only essay modes and subjects; she also regarded grave and serious subjects as suitable to essays, "if treated concisely." "Fashion, a Vision," is allegorical rather than humorous, and rises to a pitch of intensity not aimed at by her "Letter of John Bull" or "Letter on Watering-Places"; "What Is Education?" and "On Prejudice" are serious inquiries into their subjects. In short, an unsigned essay or an essay signed with initials or thematic name, humorous or serious, may be a candidate for the Barbauld canon if it appears in a journal to which she contributed with some regularity.

While these criteria have helped me to identify pieces as candidates, every such piece must be examined independently for more precise indications of Barbauld’s authorship. One such indication might be thought to be gender: Does an unclaimed piece "sound like" the work of a man or a woman? At best, this criterion could only be negative, invoked to exclude a candidate from the Barbauld canon; indeed, it might not serve even that purpose. Male reviewers such as William Woodfall perceived Barbauld’s verse, at least, as "masculine"; they compared it to Shakespeare’s and Milton’s. Maria Edgeworth thought she could tell Barbauld’s prose style by its moderate classicism: "I think I should be able to distinguish her style from that of any other female writer by the ease, frequency, and felicity of its classical allusions—allusions sufficiently intelligible to the unlearned, and which serve as freemason signs to the learned."31 I share Edgeworth’s impression of Barbauld’s style, subjective though it is; statistical analysis of a large body of magazine writing from the period might refine and confirm it, but I am neither competent nor situated to undertake such a project. One example of attribution—or, as it turned out, de-attribution—by comparing textual allusions was undertaken at my request in 1989 by Carey McIntosh. The text in question was Reasons for National Penitence (1794), an anti-war tract attributed to Barbauld in several library catalogues but to her pupil, Charles Marsh, on the flyleaf of one copy. Its style resembles hers in Sins of Government, Sins of the Nation, written for the first wartime fast as Reasons was for the second. Professor McIntosh examined allusions in both works and found that while Barbauld in Sins alludes frequently to Bible texts (indeed, the motto for Sins comes from Deuteronomy), the author of Reasons never does: Reasons alludes, rather, to Tacitus,


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three times.32 Barbauld’s one Latinism in Sins does support Edgeworth’s impression: she quotes "pars minima sui" and translates it in the same sentence. Lowkey classicism may thus be a genuine, albeit hardly sufficient, sign of Barbauld’s authorship. (It would not follow, however, that the presence of untranslated Latin must exclude the possibility of Barbauld’s authorship, for she quoted two lines of Latin verse without translation in one of her most popular essays, "Against Inconsistency in our Expectations" [1773].)

A. Uncollected Pieces

Of the following thirty-three titles, nineteen are identified as Barbauld’s by signature, her testimony, or a credible witness, and one was reprinted (in part) by Lucy Aikin. Thirteen of them I attribute to Barbauld myself. They are marked by asterisks.

A1. "The Vision of Anna, the Daughter of Haikin." The Christian Miscellany, No. 4 (April 1792), pp. 157—161, as "Art. VIII. A Chapter of Modern Apocrypha." Unsigned. Reprinted in the Christian Reformer; or, Unitarian Magazine and Review, 39 (1853): 111-114, as "An Unedited Parable of Mrs. Barbauld."

According to Joseph Priestley editor J. T. Rutt, the Christian Miscellany was undertaken by Joshua Toulmin, Jr. with encouragement from Priestley and Theophilus Lindsey (Priestley, Theological and Miscellaneous Works, London, 1828—31, 1.ii, p. 88 and note); according to historian R. K. Webb, it was "founded" by Priestley follower John Holland (1766-1826; ODNB entry on Holland). Although Lindsey and Priestley had criticized Barbauld’s 1775 "Thoughts on the Devotional Taste," her Address to the Opposers of the Repeal of the Corporation and Tests Acts (1790) had won the admiration of liberal Dissent. The Miscellany's editor dates the "Vision" to 1773, following two failed petitions by Dissenting ministers to obtain "relief from the obligation to subscribe the doctrinal articles of the church of England"; he also notes parallels between passages in it and in the Address to the Opposers. If the editor was John Holland, his source for "Vision" could have been his brother-in-law William Turner, a Warrington Academy graduate who wrote the first history of the academy and collected copies of Barbauld poems. "Haikin" is a Biblicization of Barbauld’s birth name; whether it is her title or the editor’s is not known, but Barbauld imitated the style of the King James Version on other occasions, most famously Hymns in Prose.33 The 1853 editor provides further details about the 1773 petitions and regrets that "Miss [Lucy] Aikin did not admit


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this composition into the collected works of her aunt. ... We have reasons for believing that it is known to very few persons." See also ALBVE, pp. 144–145.

A2. *["The Domiphobia, or Dread of Home."] Monthly Magazine, 1 (May 1796): 268–270. Signed "C." and "Warwick Lane, MAY 9th."

In the guise of a physician, the writer treats the fashion for visiting watering–places in summer as if it were a medical condition (Warwick Lane in London was home to physicians). Barbauld wrote a "Letter on Watering-Places" (the piece signed "Henry Homelove") and was fond of medical terminology (see, e.g., Poem 29 in Poems of Anna Letitia Barbauld, about her brother, who practiced medicine), although none of her known works matches this piece for sheer jargon.34 She also regarded the fad for taking summer holidays as if it were a spell cast upon Britons (ALBVE, pp. 389 and 643n2); and she speaks of the fashion for summer tours and "sea bathing–places" again in "Comparison of Manners" (A17, p. 114). The signature "C." could be her imitation of Addison’s signature practice.

A3. *["Mr. Roscoe’s Lorenzo de Medici."] Monthly Magazine, 2 (July 1796): 443–445. Signed "X.Y.Z." and dated July 15, 1796.

The essay claims (ironically) to disbelieve William Roscoe’s biography, for his Lorenzo is immeasurably more intellectual and public-spirited than the wealthy of today. The writer mentions Francis Hutcheson’s theory of ethics, as does Barbauld in her Remarks on Gilbert Wakefield’s Enquiry into ... Public Worship (1792); also William Paley, whose View of the Evidences of Christianity (1794) she read with one of her pupils in 1811; Paley is also praised in Eighteen Hundred and Eleven (line 89). The writer also compliments Samuel Rogers, "the banker-poet," whom Barbauld knew and liked; and quotes a couplet from Addison’s Cato (I.iv) containing the words "as it runs refines" (cf. Barbauld’s Hymn VIII, "refining as we run," and her liking for Addison). Barbauld was sent a copy of Roscoe’s Lorenzo in April 1796, for which she thanked Roscoe on 3 April (MS 920 ROS 5800, Liverpool Record Office); ten days after the date of this essay, she reports that she has been reading Lorenzo and calls it "a very capital work" (to Judith Beecroft, 25 July 1796).

A4. *[Letter on William Taylor’s translation of Bürger’s "Lenore."] Monthly Magazine, 2 (September 1796): 601. Signed "B." and dated Sept. 3, 1796.

The writer rebuts Taylor’s claim for Bürger’s originality (in MM, 1 [March 1796]: 118) by paralleling "Lenore" with two English ballads from a 1723 collection, "The Suffolk Miracle" and "William’s Ghost," and deprecates "the vindictive justice of God" in Leonora’s fate (cf. Barbauld’s rejection of the Calvinist God in Remarks on Public Worship); but also declares Taylor’s translation "in parts equal to any composition I have ever read." Taylor was Barbauld’s pupil at Palgrave School; she kept in touch with him, admiring his talent and sometimes chiding him for not exploiting it. She read his "Leonora" aloud to a gathering


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of Dugald Stewart’s friends at Edinburgh in 1794, to great acclaim (ALBVE, pp. 364–365).

A5. *["Thoughts on Prophecy. Prophecies for 1797."] Monthly Magazine, 3 (January 1797): 5–8. Signed "Old Lilly," without date or place.

This piece is answered by John Aikin’s "Literary Prophecies for 1797" (MM, 3:91–92). It is political in its allusions to current and recent events, such as the war and the Birmingham Riot ("if we had foreseen, that opinion can be combated only with opinion," alluding to Priestley’s 1791 expostulation "To the Inhabitants of the Town of Birmingham"). The writer characterizes war as "the murder of thousands ... with whom he had no dispute" (cf. Civic Sermon I: "to fight and kill people whom you never quarreled with"); quotes a passage containing the phrase "rise like exhalations" (adapted from Milton; Barbauld quoted the original in a letter to John Aikin, January 1784, describing a balloon); predicts that new novels will be condemned by reviewers but "read with pleasure and approbation" in places occupied typically by women (cf. Barbauld’s defense of fiction in "On the Origin and Progress of Novel-Writing" in British Novelists [1810]); and predicts "a most grotesque fashion in dress" (cf. Barbauld’s critique of grotesque fashions in "On Fashion"). "Old Lilly" presumably alludes to William Lilly (1602-81), astrologer and pamphleteering prophet.

A6. * ["Consolation for Ideal Calamities."] Monthly Magazine, 3 (February 1797): 96–97, signed "Solomon Sympathy" and dated "Feb. 10."

The "ideal calamities" are those of daily life among the genteel classes ("men of fashion, women of ton, and persons of distinction") regarded by philosophers as beneath notice: missing a ball, losing one’s gloves, not getting a place at a play. The piece teeters between irony and sympathy, as Barbauld often does (for example, in her letter to the Norwich Iris defending Priestley, A15 below), and it takes much the same view of daily pains and pleasures as she was to assert in "Thoughts on the Inequality of Conditions": "I know very well," she writes there, that philosophers "can prove by many learned and logical arguments that external goods have nothing to do with happiness. ... We are therefore bound to believe that these gentlemen, though they appear to enjoy a good table, or an elegant carriage as well as their neighbours, in fact regard them with perfect indifference" (SPP, p. 346). This writer remarks, in similar vein, that "not one of those philosophers and divines who have made the afflictions of human life their study, have condescended to say one word" about the sufferings caused by things like rancid butter, spoiled meat, and over-baked pies. The writer also quotes Oliver Goldsmith twice, including a line ("all the decent manliness of grief") from The Deserted Village, one of Barbauld’s most favorite poems: she declared she would "never be tired" of re-reading it (ALBVE, pp. 105 and 580n22).

A7. *["Character of a Wife."] Monthly Magazine, 3 (March 1797): 182–185. Signed "Humphrey Placid" and dated March 4, 1797.

The case for attribution is mainly biographical: "Humphrey"’s description of the "wife"’s behavior parallels the behavior of Barbauld’s husband, Rochemont.


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"[R]est is unknown at our house": "She" is constantly in motion, constantly remodeling and rebuilding. Rochemont’s restlessness was noticed by Barbauld friends, and Lucy Aikin spoke of his "crazy habits."35 "Humphrey" suspects that the "wife" would enjoy being busied by a Chancery suit; Rochemont instituted a Chancery suit in 1799, regarding a loan he had made to a certain John Harvey Pierce (ALBVE, pp. 362–363). "Hope and Fear" are the motives attributed to the "wife"; these could equate with mania and depression, or the early and later stages of mania alone (see ALBVE, Appendix B). The "wife" suspects the servants of dishonesty; that would be consistent with mania going over into paranoia. We do not know whether Rochemont suspected his servants of dishonesty, but in his 1799 lawsuit he accused John Harvey Pierce of dishonesty–an accusation not sustained by the Chancery judge. The "wife" has also "been studying the new doctrine of perfectability, which ... she transfers from mind to matter"; Rochemont adopted the doctrine of a progressive deity whose aim was to perfect the universe (see his "Essay on the Divine Wisdom" and ALBVE, p. 221). The "wife" delights in taking on other people’s problems and giving aid; Barbauld wrote of Rochement that "his heart overflowed with kindness to all" ("Memoir of the Rev. R. Barbauld"). The writer mentions Hampstead, where the Barbaulds lived in 1797; the name "Humphrey," a family name in Barbauld’s birthplace, might have been recalled from her childhood. The fictional mask—a husband complaining of his wife’s eccentric behavior—is identical to that in Barbauld’s "Letter of John Bull" and similar to "Henry Homelove"’s complaint about his wife and daughters. Although "Humphrey" attempts to assimilate the "wife" to that figure of comedy the "notable woman," the behavior described is much more idiosyncratic and does not appear allegorical, as "Mrs. Bull’s" does; the purported satire is correspondingly much narrower in its application. A reference to "my property ... in the West Indies" is not consistent with Barbauld’s authorship, but she knew people from Warrington Academy who owned property in the Indies. Even allowing for comic exaggeration, this piece would appear to give an unrivalled idea of Barbauld’s home life with her husband.

A8. *["Defence of Rhyme."] Monthly Magazine, 3 (May 1797): 335—336. Signed "Cosmo."

The writer replies to an "unmerciful attack" on rhyme in the Monthly ("Is Rhyme an Ornament, or a Defect, in Verse," MM 3:273—277). The writer defends rhyme in terms very like those of Barbauld’s preface to a Cadell and Davies reprint of William Collins (1797), even calling Collins’s unrhymed "Ode to Evening" unsatisfactory to "the ear," as her preface does. The writer claims to be "not unacquainted with the toil and vexation" of rhyming. The type of argument–stating the opponent’s objection, conceding it, and then refuting it by showing that its application would be intolerably wide–is employed in Barbauld’s Remarks on Public Worship (London, 1792): "The exercises of devotion, Mr. Wakefield says, are wearisome. Suppose they were so, how many meetings do we frequent, to how many conversations do we listen with benevolent attention,


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where our own pleasure and ... improvement are not the objects to which our time is given up?" (pp. 50–51). Compare "But rhyme is a shackle. Doubtless it is; and so is verse—so is harmonious prose—so is every thing which obliges the writer to exertions superior to those of common language." Barbauld agreed in March or April 1797 to introduce a reprint of Collins’s poems (ALBVE, p. 368), so she had occasion to think about rhyme—and Collins—aside from the Monthly’s article.

A9. "On the Progressive Lateness of Hours kept in England." Monthly Magazine, 6 (July 1798): 4–6. Unsigned.

Barbauld occasionally complains of late hours in her letters (e.g., to John Aikin, [January 1783] and 21 January 1784). The writer mentions English "reserve," as Barbauld does (see ALBVE, pp. 46 and 566n28); repeats the same anecdote about the Duchess of Devonshire’s idea of "morning" that Barbauld reported to John Aikin (31 January 1787); quotes Genesis humorously (Barbauld liked Biblical quotations, and was not above applying them humorously); and quotes from Paradise Lost the same line ("the touch of Ithuriel’s spear") in the same kind of application as Barbauld does in her Address to the Opposers. The writer refers also to a "Spectator" essay which complained that "when the fashion of undressing prevailed amongst the ladies ... the neck was surprisingly grown, and stretched out to half the body." This appears to recall not the Spectator but the Guardian, No. 100: "The disuse of the Tucker has still enlarged it [the neck], insomuch that the Neck of a fine woman at present takes in almost half the Body."36 Barbauld’s later "Comparison of Manners in Two Centuries" alludes to Guardian No. 100, addresses the subject of late hours in nearly the same words as the present essay, and quotes from Tatler 263 a sentence very similar to a sentence in the present essay; she included extracts from Tatler 263 on late hours and from Guardian 100 in her Selections from the Spectator, Tatler, Guardian, and Freeholder (I:144–148; 3:245–247).John Dixon, father of Barbauld’s Norwich friend Judith Dixon Beecroft, attributed this essay to Barbauld in a manuscript album he kept (Folger M.a. 58). See ALBVE, p. 614n1.

A10. [Obituary of Thomas Mulso.] Monthly Magazine, 7 (February 1799): 163. Unsigned. Reprinted in the Gentleman’s Magazine, 69 (March 1799): 254, and John Nichols, Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century 9 (London, 1815): 492–493.

Barbauld acknowledged authorship in a letter to the Rev. Mark Noble, 26 October 1804. See ALBVE, p. 682, for citation.

A11. *["Essay, Medical, Moral, Political & Miscellaneous, on Spirits."] Monthly Magazine, 7 (February 1799): 89–92. Signed "Geoffry Gauger, Excise-Office, Feb. 12, 1799."

Opens with ironic reflections on the government’s excise tax on alcohol ("spirits"), and develops into a political allegory on other kinds of spirits: "Spirit of Contradiction," "Spirit of Innovation," "Spirit of Reform," "Spirit of Religion," and "Spirit of Bigotry." The manner of the allegory resembles that of Barbauld’s


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"Cosmogunia" dialogue. The writer uses chemical and medical terminology, including "alterative," a technical word Barbauld uses in "On Education" and her letter defending Edgeworth.37 The writer alludes to the Birmingham Riot ("answer a pamphlet by burning a house"), is sympathetic to moderate political reform and mild versions of religion, and deplores "Bigotry." The writer "once flattered myself I understood" the "Spirit of Liberty": this could allude to Barbauld’s political writings in the early 90s.

A12. *"Sketch of Two Brothers. Addressed to the Quidnuncs." Monthly Magazine, 8 (October 1799): 681–683. Signed "C." Reprinted in The Spirit of the Public Journals for 1800 (London, 1801), pp. 106–109, without attribution.

The two brothers are "Prior" and "Posterior"; Prior loves "a good story," while Posterior "is a plain matter-of-fact man." A satire on gossips and news-fanatics, this essay contains a mock-genealogy similar to those in Barbauld’s "Tale of Pity" and "Knowledge and Her Daughter." The writer is critical of gossip that bandies about numbers of killed and wounded as if they were equivalent to shares prices, much as Barbauld’s poem "Written on a Marble" satirically likens the Battle of Pharsalia to a game at marbles and her Sins of Government reduces military budgets to "merchandized destruction": "so many rupees. ..."

A13. "Memoirs of Mrs. Chapone." Monthly Magazine, 13 (January 1802): 39–40. Signed "A.L.B." and "Hampstead" (where Barbauld was living at the time). Partly reprinted in Mary Hays, Female Biography, attributed to Barbauld; also Weekly Entertainer, or, Agreeable and Instructive Repository, 39 (March 1802): 170–172.

Barbauld acknowledged authorship to Mark Noble, 26 October 1804.

A14. ["Opprobrious Appellations reprobated."] Monthly Magazine, 14 (December 1802): 480–482. Signed "A.L.B." Replies to "Orthophilus" (John Aikin) on the words rebel and infidel (MM, 14 [November 1802]: 376-377).

A15. "To the Editor of the Iris." [Letter defending Joseph Priestley from a satire, "Hudibras Modernized."] Norwich Iris, No. 47, 24 December 1803. Signed "A Lover of Truth."

The Iris was edited by William Taylor (1765–1836), Barbauld’s former pupil at Palgrave School; Taylor was also the author of the satire against which "A Lover of Truth" protests, and his response to the letter resembles that of a pupil rebuked by his teacher: he printed the letter and cut short the satire. This letter is attributed to Barbauld by Taylor’s biographer, J. W. Robberds (Memoir of the Life and Writings of the late William Taylor of Norwich [London, 1843], 2:3–4). Internal evidence for attribution is the letter’s expressed view of Priestley, consistent with her poem "Champion of Truth." See ALBVE, pp. 72–73.


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A16. *["Remarks on the Principle of Credulity."] Monthly Magazine,16 (December 1803): 504–505. Signed "* * *".

Denies Thomas Reid’s and Dugald Stewart’s theory of an instinctive "principle of credulity"; argues, instead, that children’s disposition to believe their elders is a result of experience. Illustrates with sentences spoken by adults to children, as in Lessons for Children. Closes with an anecdote of Reid "told me by my father, who was acquainted with him." Barbauld’s father had known Reid in college at Aberdeen (William Turner, The Warrington Academy [1813–15, rpt. Warrington, 1957], p. 13).

A17. ["Comparison of Manners in Two Centuries."] Athenaeum, 1 (January and February 1807): 1–10, 111–121. Signed (latter piece only) "Balance."

Attributed by Kenrick and, implicitly, by John Aikin, the Athenaeum’s editor (discussed above).

A18. "The Contrast; or Peace and War." Athenaeum, 1 (January 1807): 14–15. Signed "A.L.B."

A19. "Thoughts on the Inequality of Conditions." Athenaeum, 2 (July 1807): 14–19. Signed "A.L.B." Reprinted, attributed to Barbauld, in the London Cooperative Magazine, 3 (1828): 132–138.

A20. *"A Day-Dream." Athenaeum, 2 (December 1807): 563–565. Signed "A Day-dreamer."

A dream vision in which the narrator’s associates are transformed into beasts. As in Barbauld’s Address to the Opposers, the angel Ithuriel makes people appear in their true shapes, here in answer to the narrator’s wish that people had "a window in their bosoms" through which their "real dispositions" could be read. Ithuriel tells the narrator that "the friend of thy bosom has been the destroyer of thy peace," a statement that would describe Barbauld’s life with her husband. Further, the sharp contrast between the charming and the bestial in the narrator’s associates would correspond to the contrast between Rochemont Barbauld’s sub-manic and paranoid states. In her 1804 Selections from Addison and Steele Barbauld included Guardian No. 106, about a "window in the breast" through which the narrator can read his beloved’s true thoughts.

A21. "Memoir of the Rev. R. Barbauld." Monthly Repository, 3 (December 1808): 706–709. Unsigned. Partly reprinted in Lucy Aikin’s "Memoir" of Barbauld, in Works, 1:xlv-xlix.

A22. *"Truth and Fiction in Manners Compared." Athenaeum, 5 (February 1809): 106–109. Signed "Crito."

Argues in favor of fictions that render historical manners realistically even when those manners fail to meet current ideas of morality. The writer compares Robert Southey’s translation of the Cid, in which historical manners are observed, favorably with Corneille’s Cid, in which they are not; Barbauld makes


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the same comparison in very similar words in "On the Origin and Progress of Novel-Writing" a year later (SPP, p. 387). The writer approves of Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel and Marmion. Barbauld had reviewed The Lay appreciatively: "it abounds ... with circumstances curious to the antiquarian" (Annual Review, 3 [1805]: 600–604). In 1809 Barbauld was at work on The British Novelists and thus concerned with fiction.

A23. ["Miss Anne Finch."] Monthly Repository, 4 (March 1809): 171–172. Signed "Stoke Newington" (where ALB was living in 1809).

Anne Finch was the granddaughter of Joseph Priestley. This obituary is attributed to Barbauld by J. T. Rutt, editor of Priestley's Memoirs (in Priestley, Theological and Miscellaneous Works, 1.i, p. 49n). The lines of verse that close the obituary, however, are from a poem by John Aikin.

A24. [Letter defending Maria Edgeworth's tale "The Dun" from aspersions by the Quarterly Review.] Gentleman's Magazine, 80 (March 1810): 210–212. Signed"Y.Z."

Barbauld acknowledged to Edgeworth having written such a letter (Anna Letitia Le Breton, Memoir of Mrs. Barbauld, London, 1874, pp. 144–145).

A25. "A Dialogue on our Obligation to study the Scriptures, and to act on the Motives which they prescribe, even though their Divine Origin should be uncertain." Monthly Repository, 8 (February 1813): 103–107. Unsigned.

Claimed on p. 650 ("my Dialogue") of the "Vindication" (below), which is signed "A.L.B."

A26. "Vindication of the Dialogue on the Scriptures in Reply to Mr. Sturch." Monthly Repository, 8 (October and November 1813): 650–653, 738–741 Signed "A.L.B."38

A27. "Memoir of the late Rev. John Prior Estlin, LL.D." Monthly Repository, 12 (October 1817): 573–575. Signed "A. L. B." and "Stoke Newington, September 22nd, 1817." Reprinted in Monthly Magazine, 44 (1817): 566–568; partly incorporated in the memoir prefacing Estlin's Familiar Lectures on Moral Philosophy (London, 1818), 1:[xi]–xxxi.

Attributed to Barbauld by J. T. Rutt in his edition of Priestley's Memoirs (1.i, p. 420n). Estlin was a friend of Barbauld's from Warrington. His widow asked her to write his obituary, and Barbauld agreed to do so (letter to Susanna Estlin, 27 August [1817]; Estlin Papers, Bristol Reference Library).

A28. *["Fellowship of Unitarian Congregations."] Monthly Repository, 13 (May 1818): 303–304. Signed "A Social Worshiper" and dated April 12, 1818.


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Chides wealthy Unitarians for lack of fellowship towards their fellow-congregants. Quotes Barbauld's Hymn VI (lines 5–9); the signature may allude to Barbauld's Remarks on ... Public or Social Worship (1792), in which she had argued that part of the value of social worship lies in its bringing into one community people of widely different ranks. She was said by a contemporary to have called Unitarianism "Christianity in the frigid zone" (ALBVE, p. 153); her ideal of social worship included the human warmth among worshipers argued for by this writer, who censures heads of Unitarian congregations for "coolness and callousness"—and in doing so argues further that by their coolness Unitarians injure their own prospects as a sect.

A29. "On Being Born Again: A Discourse by the late Mrs. Barbauld." Monthly Repository, n.s. I (July 1827): 477–482. Reprinted as American Unitarian Association Tract 13, A Discourse on Being Born Again. By Mrs. Barbauld (Boston, 1827; 2nd ed., 1830).

Introduced by Barbauld's nephew and adopted son, Charles Rochemont Aikin. A page of the autograph survives today (MS Corbett II.7, University of Birmingham Library).

A30. "New Year Discourse. By Mrs. Barbauld." Monthly Repository, n.s. 2 (January 1828): 1–5.

A31. "A Discourse, by Mrs. Barbauld." Monthly Repository, n.s. 2 (March 1828): 145–149.

A32. "A Discourse, by Mrs. Barbauld." Monthly Repository, n.s. 2 (June 1828): 361–367.

A33. "The Misses (addressed to a careless girl.) By the late Mrs. Barbauld." The Juvenile Forget Me Not ... for the Year 1830, ed. Mrs. S. C. [Anna Maria] Hall. London: N. Hailes [1829]. Pp. 1–8. Reprinted in three American newspapers: Louisville Public Advertiser, 19 February 1830; Southern Times (Columbia, SC), 19 April 1830; and [North] Carolina Observer, 13 May 1830; and by Grace Ellis, A Memoir of Mrs. Barbauld, with many of her Letters (Boston, 1874), 2:374–380.

The Literary Gazette, mindful of Lucy Aikin's rebuke to the Amulet for publishing two Barbauld comic poems, rebuked the Juvenile Forget Me Not for printing "The Misses": Barbauld's "nearest relatives have requested us to reclaim ... against the growing practice of obtaining and publishing productions intended for the private circles and occasions which called them forth" (12 December 1829, p. 813; see n. 16 above). Their request amounts to an acknowledgement of Barbauld's authorship. In 1834 Hall (1800–81), as if stung by the Aikins' rebuke, justified her having published "The Misses": "It was written by a very excellent lady, who, I am grieved to say, is dead; one to whom I, as well as thousands of others, owe a deep debt of gratitude, for her books afforded me a great deal of instruction when I was a little girl" (A.M.H., "The 'Not' Family," Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, no. 114 [5 April 1834]: 80).


Professor McIntosh compared three samples: one from Sins, one from Reasons, and one from an unidentified text I knew to be by Marsh (personal correspondence with me; see ALBVE, pp. 184 and 632n94). The Beinecke Library copy of Reasons (Mhc8.1794.M35) bears a flyleaf attribution to "my old fellow-student at New Coll. Hackney — C. Marsh." "Hackney" is Hackney College, which Marsh attended after leaving Barbauld’s school at Palgrave. He went on to argue for Deism as a member of the Tusculan Society, a debating-club at Norwich (Minutes, 11 Oct. 1793; Norfolk Record Office); hence he would not have been likely to quote Scripture.


In 1772, the year before the date claimed for this piece, Barbauld wrote a piece in imitation biblical prose on the departure from Warrington of her friends the Edwardses (Ann Weld commonplace book, MS POST 1650 MS 0335, Univ. of Illinois). It has not been published.


But medical terminology alone would be insufficient evidence of her authorship: See the Morning Chronicle piece signed "Harry Head-Ache" (n. 26 above).


Quoted in Anna Letitia Le Breton, Memoir of Mrs. Barbauld (London, 1874), p. 44.


Thanks to Professor Alfred Lutz (Middle Tennessee University) for this reference.


SPP, pp. 332, 462. However, a search of Eighteenth-Century Collections Online on 6 August 2014 produced over fifteen hundred occurrences of alterative in eighteenth-century books, twenty-five of the books from 1799 alone; hence the word, though used by Barbauld and rare today, cannot be considered a hallmark of her style.


The liberal Unitarian William Sturch had replied to the "Dialogue" in the Repository, 8 (May 1813): 297–300.


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B. Possible Attributions

Below is a list of twenty titles I believe more or less likely to be Barbauld's for reasons given in each case, but which I attribute with less confidence than I do the thirteen above. The differences between those thirteen and these twenty consist sometimes of counter-indications (as in the first entry below) and often simply of quantity: reasons in favor of attribution, although of the same kind as reasons for the first group, are simply fewer in number.

I list these titles in the hope that further evidence one way or the other may surface. In the present state of my knowledge I would probably exclude them from a collected works, albeit in several instances reluctantly.

B1. "To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle." [Letter rebutting Ministerial allegations that Dissenters have been intimidated by the Birmingham Riots.] Signed "A DISSENTER." Morning Chronicle, 28 July 1791. Reprinted in An Authentic Account of the Riots in Birmingham (1791), pp. 58–63; and as a pamphlet (ESTC T220698).

Besides bearing the same signature as Barbauld's Address to the Opposers, a signature seemingly little used in the 1780s and 90s,39 this essay takes the same tone of dignified expostulation, rebuts the charge that Dissenters are discouraged by defeat (cf. Address, in SPP, p. 276), answers the charge that Dissenters talk sedition by noting that the government does not outlaw such talk (it would do so a year later), and predicts that even if Dissenters were banished from the nation, men asserting the same principles would "start up, out of the bosom of the Church of England" (cf. Address, in SPP, pp. 274–276, where Barbauld cites defections from the Church of England by thinking men). On the other hand, the writer quotes a Roman historian, just as the author of Reasons for National Penitence does; the writer could, once again, be Barbauld's pupil Charles Marsh, at age 17 emulating his teacher.

B2. ["Meditations on a General Election."] Monthly Magazine, I (June 1796): 379–380. Signed "C." and dated "June 8, 1796."

An ironic comment on the professions of humility and desire to serve the public made in newspaper ads by candidates for Parliament; the writer pretends to take them seriously and to be deeply moved by the Christian virtues they display. The essay makes medical allusions; also, its exposition opens with "And, first," a phrase Barbauld uses in the same way in "Thoughts on the Devotional Taste": "And, in the first place" (SPP, p. 213).

B3. ["On the Characteristics of Poetry."] Monthly Magazine, 2 (August 1796): 532–534. Signed "Philo-Rhythmus" and dated 8 August 1796.


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Responds to a Monthly essay, "Is Verse essential to Poetry?" (MM, 2:453–456). The writer quotes Pope; mentions historians Rapin, Tindal, Tacitus and Hume; deprecates "as spurious" attempts to write poetical prose such as Macpherson's; and criticizes blank verse as "scarcely" distinct from prose. These views are consistent with those in the "Defence of Rhyme" by "Cosmo" that I attribute to Barbauld (A8) and with her preface to the poems of Collins (1797). Against attribution is the fact that Barbauld had published an imitation of Macpherson herself in Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose. However, she had also written blank verse, and continued to write it even after repudiating it in her Collins preface; inconsistency between precept and act need not discredit an attribution.

B4. ["Similitude of Domestic and National Politics."] Monthly Magazine, 4 (October 1797): 274–275, signed "C.C.C." and dated "Oct. 10."

Argues that lessons of political wisdom can be learned in the government of families. The politics urged here are egalitarian, consistently with the politics urged in Sins of Government and Civic Sermons. The writer urges that laws be few and easily understood (cf. Remarks on Public Worship in Works, 2:463) and uses two phrases used by Barbauld: "And, first" (cf. above, "Meditations on a General Election") and "For this plain reason" (cf. Civic Sermon II). But "C.C.C." could stand for "Corpus Christi College"; the writer could be a student or fellow there.

B5. ["Rhapsody on Newspapers."] Monthly Magazine, 5 (January 1798): 5–7. Signed "Rhapsodicus." Reprinted in The Spirit of the Public Journals for 1798, without attribution.

Taking rise from debates in Parliament whether or not to tax newspapers, the writer argues, ironically, that newspapers are articles of necessity, and describes the habits of their readers. The writer quotes one of Barbauld's favorite passages, Bacon's "come home to men's business and bosoms"; also a line from Shakespeare, "Confirmations strong / As proofs of holy writ" (Othello, III.iii.323). The writer takes the same view of war as Barbauld does in Sins of Government and elsewhere. In her Selections from The Spectator Barbauld reprinted No. 452, by Addison, on newspapers.

B6. ["Evils from a Prize in the Lottery."] Monthly Magazine, 5 (March 1798): 162–165, signed "David Dip. Whitechapel High-street, March 10, 1798." Reprinted in The Spirit of the Public Journals for 1798, without attribution; and in The British Prose Miscellany (Huddersfield, 1799?), as by "David Dip."

As in "Letter of John Bull," the writer complains of a wife's bad behavior: she won a lottery, and then insisted that the Dip family live "like people of fashion." Written in the supposed voice of a shopkeeper, the essay drops a few unsophisticated platitudes similar to those uttered by the mother cat in Barbauld's "Letter from Grimalkin to Selima": "But happiness will have an end. There are many ups and downs in life" (cf. in "Grimalkin": "Honesty you will find is the best policy" [SPP, p. 357]). In opposing lotteries, the writer opposes the government lottery designed to raise money for the war. Barbauld included a "Story of a Lottery


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Ticket" from Spectator No. 242 in her 1804 Selections; in it, a husband mistreats his wife over a ticket.

B7. ["Evils of Modern Matrimony."] Monthly Magazine, 5 (May 1798): 322–324. Signed "C.C."

Responds to a rash of divorce scandals ("crim. cons.," as they were called) by advocating (ironically) that wives be locked up to prevent their infidelity. "It is in vain to think that people will not abuse liberty, if they have it." Pretends to long for the good old days when women had to be courted by stealth, at the risk of the lover's life. The essay quotes Bacon's "comes home to men's bosoms and business" and introduces its arguments with "And first," as Barbauld does in "Thoughts on the Devotional Taste."

B8. ["On the Tie of Relationship."] Monthly Magazine, 5 (June 1798): 410–411. Signed "Aristippus" and dated 2 June 1798.

A serious essay on the relative duties that attend different degrees of human relations. "Tie" is a favorite Barbauld word (cf., most famously, "the sacred tie that binds" in "Hymn VI"). The writer shares Barbauld's Hutchesonian belief that human relations begin with one's kin and "ultimately" reach "to all who participate in the same common nature" (cf. Hymn VIII in Hymns in Prose). The writer quotes Francis Bacon, but not Barbauld's usual Bacon phrase, and in Latin, not English.

B9. ["On Parental Tyranny."] Monthly Magazine, 5 (June 1798): 421–422. Signed "'O." and dated May 8, "1797. "

The writer has read a memoir of Johann Georg Zimmermann in which Zimmermann is said to have lamented the death of a beloved daughter whose desire to marry the man of her choice Zimmermann thwarted. Zimmermann's suffering over his daughter's decline is mentioned in The Life of J. G. Zimmermann, Counsellor of State.... Translatedfrom the French of M. Tissot (London, 1797), but Zimmermann's own more detailed—and paternalist—account of his daughter's character and death appears in his Solitude considered, in Regard to its Influence upon the Mind and the Heart (London and Edinburgh, 1797), pp. 99–103. He does not state outright that her decline resulted from thwarted desire; the author of "On Parental Tyranny" assumes it, and argues thence that the true parental tyranny is exerted out of love and that the child submits to it from unwillingness to defy a beloved parent. The essay is thus a critique of paternalism. The idea of a daughter's love being thought unsuitable was close to Barbauld's heart, for, having defied her parents' wishes in marrying Rochemont, she came to suffer remorse for doing so.

B10. ["Environs of Bristol Described."] Monthly Magazine, 7 (July 1799): 448–451. Signed "A.B." and dated June 4.

Barbauld visited Bristol in June 1799, but unless she had knowledge from previous visits the 4th seems too early for her to have written a paper about it. In 1812 she wrote admiringly of Bristol to Sarah Carr (ALBVE, p. 397), mentioning St Vincent's Rocks, as this writer does. This writer quotes more Latin


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than I would expect from Barbauld and is almost pedantic in describing local geology and flora, but Barbauld did notice rocks in a cave at Bridgend (ALBVE, pp. 398 and 645n24) and attended to trees in describing the island of Corsica ("Corsica").

B11. ["Pizarro the Universal Topic!"]. Monthly Magazine, 8 (August 1799): 514–516. Signed "A Lover of Variety."

The writer complains that current conversation is monopolized by Sheridan's Pizarro, satirically exaggerates public monomania over the play, and hopes to return to discussing current events (the war, specifically General Suwarrow, an allusion to the invasion of Switzerland deplored by Barbauld and her family). This could be backhanded praise of the kind Barbauld gives to Roscoe's Lorenzo (A3). However, she was away from London during much of the run of the play. Pizarro opened at Drury Lane on 23 May and was repeated 31 times before 1 July (Ben Ross Schneider, Index to The London Stage, 1660–1800 [Carbondale, IL, 1979]).

B12. ["Origin of Nerves Inquired after."] Monthly Magazine, 9 (February 1800): 105–107. Signed "Neurologus" and dated "Feb. 10, 1800."

A teasing treatment of the fashion for "nerves" among the genteel urban classes. The writer pretends to ask if nerves were imported from abroad (an allusion to German plays) or are of native growth or invention. In "Comparison of Manners" Barbauld notes that "it is as difficult to ascertain the origin of a new folly, as of a new invention" (p. 9).

B13. ["Lunatics out of Hospitals."] Monthly Magazine, II (March 1801): 202205. Signed "Ol. Oldstile. Opposite Moorfields, March 1801."

Proposes that compulsive gamblers, speculators, worldly preachers, and parents who spoil their children be considered madmen. The writer flirts with medical terminology and the jargon of the stock exchange, and quotes Isaiah 5:7–8 ("woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field"). The writer is "a spectator of men and things" and has intended for a year to write on this subject, but has lacked "leisure" to do it. The writer's attention to compulsive behavior could result from living with Rochemont (also Rochemont's Chancery suit involved speculation in real estate, or "joining house to house"); so could the distractions that kept the writer from writing. Against attribution: the name "Oliver Oldstyle" occurs as signature to a piece "On the Affectation of Inferiority" in the Sentimental Magazine (reprinted in The Spirit of the Public Journals for 1801 [London, 1802], 288–294); and to a piece, "Ducking Chairs," published in The Oracle (reprinted ibid., 354–356); ALB is not known to have published in either periodical.

Note on Barbauld's contributions to the Monthly Magazine. If one maps onto a list of the magazine's monthly issues Barbauld's known contributions in prose and verse in one column, and these conjectured contributions in an adjoining column, a definite or conjectural Barbauld piece appears in twenty-five of the forty-nine numbers between February 1796 (her "Cosmogunia" dialogue) and February 1800 ("On Prejudice"). Taken together with her reported intention to contribute to the new magazine (see above), the number suggests that she meant


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to send her brother something at least every other month. If the reasoning were not circular, this inference might be taken as further evidence in support of the conjectural attributions.

B14. "Conversation Revived." Athenaeum, 2 (August 1807): 113–114. Signed "One of the BAS TON" and dated 11 June 1807.

Pretends to report the re-appearance in fashion of conversation, personified as a returned exile who has been victimized by "Folly" and, earlier, "Fashion." Quotes Othello ("trifles light as air"), Paradise Lost ("faithful among the faithless found"), and Pope ("The feast of Reason, and the flow of soul"). In "Comparison of Manners" (A17), Barbauld criticized a new superciliousness among the rich that inhibited conversation (quoted in ALBVE, p. 422).

B15. "What Constitutes Country." Athenaeum, 2 (August 1807): 128-130. Signed "A REMONSTRANT."

Moved by a passage in Dutensiana (1806) about the persecution of Protestants in France, the writer reflects on the treatment of Dissenters in England. The writer likens England to "a partial step-mother," as Barbauld does in Address to the Opposers; and charges "the system of toleration" with insulting Dissenters, as Barbauld does in the second edition of her Address. A nation that "will not amend ... must expect to be taught wisdom by some very severe lesson" (cf. the closing paragraph of Barbauld's "What Is Education?"). Although these sentiments all run parallel with Barbauld's, they could be John Aikin's also; she, however, would be more likely than he to be conscious of French Protestants, having married a man of Huguenot ancestry.

B16. "Remarks on Versification." Athenaeum, 2 (September 1807): 229–231 Signed "Candidus."

Argues that the effects of versification are culturally relative and depend on the associations readers have formed with them. Defends anapestics, both in French and English, from the charge that they are ludicrous. Instances lines from Rowe, Montgomery's Ocean, and Beattie's Hermit. Barbauld argued for the power of association, most notably in the preface to Hymns in Prose, and she admired Montgomery's Ocean. However, Montgomery was a favorite with her brother and niece as well: John Aikin quoted Ocean in the Athenaeum in April 1807 (1:351).

B17. "A Complainant." Athenaeum, 3 (June 1808): 537–538. Signed "The Public."

"The Public" complains of "the petty injuries and vexations which I experience in the ordinary course of life," such as being relegated to the worst seats in theaters, having to stand through church services, and being barred from using country foot-paths. Quotes Coleridge's "Frost at Midnight," which Barbauld is believed to have reviewed in the Analytical in 1798.40


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B18. "A Topic of Consolation." Athenaeum, 4 (October 18ü8): 297–299. Signed "Mentor."

Argues that the motto, Fortune "has taken away, but she first gave," suggests "matter of consolation under the loss of friends, or other deprivations." Addresses mainly the premature deaths of beloved children, but generalizes to "every blessing bestowed upon us by Providence ... with the purpose that we should make the best of it." Quotes Cymbeline, IV.ii.258–261, a passage perhaps alluded to in Barbauld's lines on Rochemont's death a month or more later (PALB, p. 305). The argument for attributing this piece to Barbauld would be mainly biographical. In October 1808 she and Rochemont were living apart, separated apparently for good, and she was grieving intensely over her loss (see ALBVE, pp. 439–440); the essay would be an attempt to console herself.

B19. "Maxims of Frugality Vindicated." Athenaeum, 5 (March 1809): 207208. Signed "Priscus."

Takes issue with "a late publication" (not identified) in which the maxims of Poor Richard are censured; argues in defense of Poor Richard and of frugality as "the foundation of every thing honourable and manly in social and political life." Cites the spendthrift Harrell in Burney's Cecilia, a novel Barbauld admired and included in The British Novelists, on which she was working at this time.

B20. "On the Necessity of preaching against Political Immoralities." Monthly Repository, 8 (June 1813): 379–383. Signed "A Lay Dissenter."

The writer argues that Christian ministers are obliged by their allegiance to the Bible to denounce evils committed by government, and that the obligation is politically impartial. The chief example of the kind of evils to be denounced is the government's treatment of an unnamed "political writer" who censured the vices of "a personage of high rank and great influence in the state" (the Prince Regent) and was prosecuted for libel. The writer quotes a line from Cowper as epigraph and a passage from Guardian No. 80 on political use of the Church "for managing the loves and hatreds of mankind." Barbauld admired Cowper and included papers from the Guardian in her 1804 Addison-Steele collection, but not No. 80.


A search of the online Burney Collection of British Newspapers turned up only six instances of "A Dissenter" as a signature between 1 Jan. 1787 and 31 Dec. 1793. The search engine is not trustworthy, however, for it failed to turn up the very piece here in question.


40. Analytical Review, 28 (Dec. 1798): 590–592, signed "D.M.S." and attributed by Derek Roper, Reviewing before the "Edinburgh," 1788–1802 (Newark, DE, 1978), p. 283n76.


Lucy Aikin, ed., The Works of Anna Letitia Barbauld. With a Memoir, 2 vols. (London, 1825). From Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose: "The Hill of Science," "On Romances: An Imitation," "Seláma: An Imitation of Ossian," "Against Inconsistency in our Expectations," "On Monastic Institutions," and "An Inquiry into those Kinds of Distress which excite agreeable Sensations: With a Tale" (Works, 2:163–231). From the Monthly Magazine: "Dialogue between Madam Cosmogunia and a Philosophical Inquirer of the Eighteenth Century" (1 [1796]: 19–22, unsigned; in Works, 2:277–287); "Letter of John Bull" (1 [1796]: 184–186; in Works, 2:288–294); "Letter on Watering-places" (2 [1796]: 605–608, signed "Henry Homelove"; in Works, 2:295–304); "On Education" (5 [1798]: 167–171, unsigned; titled "What Is Education?" in Works, 2:305–320), and "On Prejudice" (9 [1800]: 139–144, unsigned; in Works, 2:321–337). From another source: "The Curé of the Banks of the Rhone" (2:260–267; first published in The Morning Chronicle, 29 Nov. 1793, unsigned and titled "To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle"). Aikin reprinted "Fashion, a Vision" (Monthly Magazine, 3 [April 1797]: 254–256, unsigned) in A Legacy for Young Ladies (London, 1826), pp. 165–179. In each collection Aikin also printed pieces not previously published. While those are not part of my subject here, I will notice several pieces first published after Aikin's editions came out (A29–33). Aikin also reprinted poems from periodicals, including six from the Monthly Magazine; for them, see The Poems of Anna Letitia Barbauld, ed. William McCarthy and Elizabeth Kraft (Athens, GA, 1994; cited hereafter as PALB).


Lucy Aikin, Memoirs, Miscellanies and Letters, ed. Philip Hemery Le Breton (London, 1864), pp. 163–164; Kenrick, Biographical Memoir of the late Rev. Charles Wellbeloved (London, 1860), p. 60. Longman's Joint Commission and Divide Ledger for 1803 shows that for articles contributed to Volume 1 of The Annual Review Barbauld was paid £30—twice as much as any other reviewer except Arthur Aikin himself: for details see William McCarthy, Anna Letitia Barbauld, Voice of the Enlightenment (Baltimore, MD, 2008), pp. 411 and 648n7. Barbauld's reviews will not be a subject of the present essay; they require an essay of their own.


"Published this Day" (Morning Chronicle, 8 July 1825). In the Morning Post for 28 April, Works was promised for 27 June; and Lucy dated her memoir 20 June.


McCarthy, Anna Letitia Barbauld, p. 641n10. Hereafter cited as ALBVE.


Selected Poetry and Prose of Anna Letitia Barbauld, ed. William McCarthy and Elizabeth Kraft (Peterborough, ON, 2001; hereafter SPP); ALBVE, p. 641n10. In 2011 Barbauld's letters to her pupil Lydia Rickards from 1798 to 1815 came to light and were sold at auction to a private buyer who has not come forward. Since one piece published in Aikin's Legacy collection originated as letters to Lydia, the letters may give new information about Barbauld's other writings.


Aikin to Barbauld, 27 February 1787, quoted in ALBVE, p. 370; Works 2:9 (ca. 1776); see also ALBVE, p. 260. Letters cited by date in the text hereafter are identified in ALBVE, pp. 677–687. I speak to the issue of collaboration in n. 30 below.


On Civic Sermons see ALBVE, pp. 320–323 and 628nn33–41. They are not listed here because they were pamphlets, not periodical essays.


See ALBVE, pp. 342 and 633nn98–99 ("Curé"), and 343 and 633n101 ("Priestley").


A Aikin friend named her as one of the expected writers (ALBVE, p. 370).


Aikin to John Pinkerton, 10 March 1799, and to Joseph Cooper Walker, 15 April 1799 (Hackney Archives, MSS 3711 and 3712).


See n. 1 above. Although unsigned, ALB's Cosmogunia dialogue was recognized as hers by Theophilus Lindsey (letter to William Tayleur, 7 March 1796; information from Grayson Ditchfield, editor of Lindsey's letters). Her 1798 essay on education was also known at once to be hers (Morning Post, 11 April 1798, in a paragraph on the latest issue of the Monthly Magazine).


MS P:19.2, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.


Johnson to Hamilton, 16 Jan. 1807 (Johnson Letterbook, Pforzheimer Collection, New York Public Library). Barbauld's mention to Edgeworth of "Magazines" in which her "little pieces" were "scattered" might seem to mean more than one periodical, but she could have meant monthly numbers of the Monthly Magazine. Johnson and Phillips, the Monthly's publisher, were neighbors in St. Paul's Churchyard.


Aikin to William Shepherd, 15 March 1807 (MS 2385, The Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations); Kenrick, Review of Le Breton, Memoir of Mrs. Barbauld (Inquirer, 27 June 1874).


A poem signed "Anna" not reprinted by Aikin was attributed to Barbauld by Francis E. Mineka in his study of the Monthly Repository (The Dissidence of Dissent, Chapel Hill, NC, 1944). Kraft and I accepted the attribution in PALB (Poem 140), but the signature "Anna" appears also in the British Lady's Magazine in 1815 and 1816 and may not be Barbauld's.


See SPP, p. 457. The letter is A24 below.


Monthly Repository, n.s. 1 (July 1827): 477. The discourses are items A29–32 below.


See A33 for details. Aikin's rebuke is "Mrs. Barbauld's MSS," Monthly Repository, n.s. 2 (1828): 55.


See PALB, p. 211.


Lessons was tacitly acknowledged on the title-page to Hymns in Prose for Children: "by the author of Lessons for Children."


A seeming exception is the signature "ALB" to verses in French in The Kaleidoscope for 19 June (p. 416), 3 July (p. 432) and 31 July (p. 29) 1827, and 20 May 1828 (p. 389). One is dated after Barbauld's death, and two are dated from streets on which she is not known to have lived. Further, had they been meant to be taken as hers they would have been signed "Mrs. Barbauld," as other posthumous pieces were in the serials that printed them. The verses were brought to my attention by Professor Scott Krawczyk.


ALBVE, pp. 432–433, and, for full details, Benjamin C. Nangle, The Monthly Review: Indexes of Contributors and Articles (Oxford, 1955).


On Evenings at Home see ALBVE, pp. 324 and 629n47; Barbauld's pieces in it, because not journalism, do not fall within the scope of the present essay. So confidently was "Sir Bertrand" ascribed to Barbauld that a London newspaper printed an anecdote about her writing it (Diary, 17 March 1790). The misattribution enjoyed a long life: it reappears in a 1973 collection, Great British Tales of Terror, edited by Peter Haining (Penguin). Barbauld's high reputation in the early United States induced a Baltimore bookseller to insinuate her authorship of Sermons on the Doctrines and Duties of Christianity. By a Lady (1816): "It is understood that these Sermons were written by that pious and distinguished woman" ("Advertisement"). The author identified herself, however, as firmly Church-of-England ("Preface," p. viii), and is now believed to be Harriet Bowdler.
On the other hand, when the author of a piece declares that Barbauld translated it he should probably be credited. French Protestant and Girondin leader Jean-Paul Rabaut St. Etienne (1743–93) was reported by visiting sympathizer Charles James to have told James on 21 November 1792 that "his 'Letters to the English' were translated by Mrs. Barbauld" (James's Journal, quoted in Cyrus Redding, Fifty Years' Recollections, Literary and Personal [1858], 2:89, online edition by David Hill Radcliffe). This must have been Rabaut's Adresse aux Anglois (1791), published in English by Joseph Johnson as Address to the English Nation. Translated from the French of J. P. Rabaut de St. Etienne (1791). Barbauld's relations with Rabaut, probably mediated through his pupil John Scipio Sabonadière, are explored in ALBVE, pp. 246–247, 285–287, and 320–321; see especially p. 286, where she mentions Rabaut's Address on the eve of its London publication; at the very least, she knew it was coming. At the time of writing I had not seen Redding's Recollections; this passage lends support to the speculation that Barbauld and Rabaut had met. In this instance they may even have collaborated.


Cambridge, UK, 2002, p. 30.


London, 1998, p. xxvi.


Poem 123 in PALB. See also (I regret to say) ALBVE, pp. 464–465. The poem, which in Poems is only a fragment, is titled "Elegy" in its full text and was published in Smyth’s English Lyricks, Part II (1805), a book reviewed in the Annual Review, 4 (1806): 613 –615. English Lyricks was dedicated to William Wallace Currie, son of a friend of John Aikin, and conceivably Barbauld reviewed it; that could explain the appearance of a partial text of the poem among Aikin family papers. Though she did not write it, it probably spoke to her.


On "profiling" see Love, Attributing Authorship, p. 87. The Furbank-Owens canon is criticized by Maximillian Novak in Daniel Defoe: Master of Fictions (Oxford, 2001), pp. 4–5.


A count of the 342 signatures in the Monthly Magazine’s first two volumes yielded 168 composed of initials and 75 that at least appear to be real names. At most, 36 of the signatures could be called "speaking names," and that includes many of the "A Constant Reader" type. In the Morning Chronicle speaking names are more common. Its proprietor, James Perry, wrote short essays and poems himself (ODNB): hence humorous pieces in the Chronicle on the manners and politics of the day signed with comic thematic names cannot be attributed to Barbauld with any confidence. An example of such a piece is a letter signed "Harry Head-Ache, Q. M. G." and dated from "Camomile-Street" (6 Jan. 1796).


"Preliminary Essay," Selections from the Spectator, Tatler, Guardian, and Freeholder (London, 1804), 1:xxxii.


The essays are her "Inquiry into those Kinds of Distress which excite agreeable Sensations" (about feeling pity for distressed Beauty) and John’s "On the Pleasure derived from Objects of Terror" (Terror, in Burke, is a source of the Sublime). Anna Letitia writes on the "feminine" aspect of Burke’s theory, John on the "masculine" aspect. See ALBVE, p. 112, and the chapters on the Aikins’ collaboration in Krawczyk’s Romantic Literary Families (New York, 2009). The fact that Barbauld and her brother did collaborate can complicate attribution: On at least one occasion, writing a story for John’s son Arthur, they wrote jointly (ALBVE, p. 190). Ordinarily, however, their collaboration was conceptual rather than executional; hence I aim to identify Barbauld as (to use Harold Love’s term) the "executive" author, the person who actually wrote the text. An example of attribution rendered uncertain by their conceptual agreement is "Remarks on Versification," B16 below.


Quoted in ALBVE, pp. 356–357. For male reviewers, see pp. 110 and 118.