Search the Collection

Ann Yearsley (1756-1806), Poet

Sitter in 4 portraits
Yearsley, the milkmaid poet known as 'Lactilla', was discovered in Bristol by the writer Hannah More. With the help of Elizabeth Montagu, More organised the publication of Yearsley's Poems, on Several Occasions (1785). The success of the volume led to a dispute between More and Yearsley over profits. Yearsley published Poems, on Various Subjects in 1787 and A Poem on the Inhumanity of the Slave-Trade in 1788. She turned to drama with Earl Goodwin: an Historical Play (1789) and to novel writing with The Royal Captives: a Fragment of Secret History, Copied from an Old Manuscript (1795). Her final collection of poetry, The Rural Lyre, appeared in 1796.