Adelaide Anne Procter
Adelaide Anne Procter was an English poet and philanthropist. She worked prominently on behalf of unemployed women and the homeless. Her poems were set to music by composers such as Kate Lucy Ward, and made into hymns. She was the favourite poet of Queen Victoria.
About Adelaide Anne Procter in brief
Adelaide Anne Procter was an English poet and philanthropist. She worked prominently on behalf of unemployed women and the homeless. Her charity work and her conversion to Roman Catholicism appear to have strongly influenced her poetry, which deals most commonly with such subjects as homelessness, poverty, and fallen women. Her health suffered, possibly due to overwork, and she died of tuberculosis at the age of 38. Her poetry went through numerous editions in the 19th century; Coventry Patmore called her the most popular poet of the day, after Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Her poems were set to music by composers such as Kate Lucy Ward, and made into hymns. They were published in the U.S. and Germany as well as in England. She was the favourite poet of Queen Victoria. She never married and died in London in 1879, aged 38. She is buried in Kensal Rise, London, with her husband Bryan Waller Procters, her mother Anne, and her sister-in-law, Anne Waller, who died in 1881. She died in a nursing home in London, where she had lived since she was a teenager. She had been friends with novelist Charles Kingsley, composer John Hullah, and writer Henry Morley, and was friends with poet William Wordsworth and critic William Hazlitt.
In 1853 she submitted work to Dickens’s Household Words under the name Mary Berwick, wishing that her work be judged on its own merits rather than in relation to her father’s friendship with her father. She became the editor of the journal Victoria Regia, which later became the showpiece of the Victoria Press, an explicitly feminist publishing venture. Following her conversion, ProCTer became extremely active in several charitable causes and became a member of the Langham Place Group, which set out to improve conditions for women and improve conditions of the working class. Her work is significant in part for what it reveals about how Victorian women expressed otherwise repressed feelings. She wrote two volumes of poetry, both of which were collected into her first volumes, both entitled Lyrics and Cornhill Legends and Lyrics. She also wrote a collection of short stories, which was published in All the Year Round and Good Words, and later published in Good Words and All The Year Round. Her last work was a novel, which she co-authored with her friend Bessie Rayner Belloc.