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Anna Seward (1742-1809), Writer and poet

Sitter associated with 4 portraits
Anna Seward, 'the Swan of Lichfield' was among the best-known poets of the 1780s and 1790s. Deeply romantic by nature, she lived for most of her life in the Bishop's Palace at Lichfield, but she never married. Her poems and verse novels are lyrical and melancholy, but as a critic she held strong opinions, freely criticising major literary figures such as Samuel Johnson and William Wordsworth. As a child Seward showed precocious literary talents. She was noted for composing Psalms and reciting Milton's verses.

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Anna Seward

by Tilly Kettle
oil on canvas, 1762
NPG 2017


possibly Anna Seward

by Henry Landseer, after John Downman
stipple engraving, early 19th century
NPG D5940


Anna Seward

by Anthony Cardon, after Tilly Kettle
stipple engraving, published 1811 (1762)
NPG D5941


Anna Seward

by John Chapman, published by Vernor & Hood
stipple engraving, published 1 March 1799
NPG D14659