Helen Maria Williams

(1761 - 15 December 1827 / England)

Helen Maria Williams
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Helen Maria Williams was a British novelist, poet, and translator of French-language works. A religious dissenter, she was a supporter of abolitionism and of the ideals of the French Revolution; she was imprisoned in Paris during the Reign of Terror, but nonetheless spent much of the rest of her life in France.

A controversial figure in her own time, the young Williams was favorably portrayed in a 1787 poem by William Wordsworth, but (especially at the height of the French Revolution) she was portrayed by other writers as irresponsibly politically radical and even as sexually wanton.

Life

She was born to a Scottish mother, Helen Hay, and a Welsh army ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''In each event of life, how clear
    Thy ruling hand I see!
    Each blessing to my soul more dear,
    Because conferred by Thee.''
    Helen Maria Williams (18th century), hymn-writer. Published in The Sacred Harp (1991). "While thee I seek, protecting Pow'r," l. 9-12 (1790).
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