Anna Seward

Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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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.

National Portrait Gallery, London



Anna Seward




oil on canvas


H 73.7 x W 62.2 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Purchased, 1924

Work type



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