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Maria Gowen (or Gowan) Brooks (1794–1845) was an American poet. She was born Abigail Gowen in Medford, Massachusetts. Her father was a man of literary tastes, and she was exposed to a lot of poetry at home; by age nine, she had memorized a large quantity of prose. Unfortunately, when Abigail was 13, her father died, bankrupt. She immediately came under the care of a Boston merchant named John Brooks. He was a man more than thirty years older than her, to whom she had already been betrothed. She finished her education and married him. For a while, she and John lived prosperously, but "financial reverses" eventually reduced them to living in comparative poverty. Abigail began to write poetry as consolation. Around this time, she changed her name to "Maria Abigail", which would eventually become, simply, "Maria". Also around this time, at age nineteen, she had written her first epic poem. It is described as a "metrical romance", which she never published. In 1820, Maria Abigail Brooks published a collection of her poetry, Judith, Esther, and other Poems, under the pseudonym "A Lover of Fine Arts". In 1823, Mr. Brooks died, and Maria went to live with her brother on his coffee plantation in Manzanas, Cuba. He died soon after her arrival, which left her with a "settled income". During this time, she began to write the poem she would become most famous for: Zophiël, or the Bride of Seven, based on the story of Sara in the Book of Tobit. In 1824, Maria made a sojourn to Ca..

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