Norwich: Sold by the author, near the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital; sold also by Messrs. Taylor and Hessey, London; Stevenson, Matchett and Stevenson, Norwich; Deightons, Cambridge; and all other booksellers, 1821. First enlarged edition. Engraved frontisportrait. With list of subscribers, and with publisher's slip indicating "Names of Publishers omitted in the Title Page" and "Names of Subscribers Omitted." Publisher's drab boards, neatly rebacked, with original printed spine label preserved. New endpapers. Publisher's drab boards, neatly rebacked, with original printed spine label preserved. New endpapers. Twelvemo. xxviii, 168 pp. Item #17510
Elizabeth Bentley (1767-1839) was the daughter of a journeyman cordwainer. William Cowper was so impressed "the Norwich maiden's’ ‘strong natural genius’" that he not only subscribed to her first volume, Genuine Poetical Compositions, on Various Subjects (1791), but compared her verse with Mary Leapor's of forty years before, discerning "more marks of true poetical talent" than he had observed "in the verses of any other male or female, so disadvantageously circumstanced" (Hayley, 3. 295–6, quoted in the Oxford DNB). The long list of subscribers included politicians, Cambridge dons, clergymen, doctors and attorneys, as well as blue stockings Elizabeth Carte, Elizabeth Montagu and Hester Chapone. After the success of her first book, she published very little until the present volume, but kept a small boarding school. The present work is more than double the size of her first volume and it includes poems on Lord Nelson, one on the death of Princess Charlotte of Wales, and “An Ode on the Approach of Invasion,” among other, obviously-newer, additions. Other subjects include “The Peasant’s Morn,” “The Prospect of Plenty,” and “on Seeing the Bath-house at Ditchingham.” The Feminist Companion to Literature in English describes her as a “labouring-class poet.”.
Jackson, Romantic Poetry by Women, p. 26.