Who is Helen Maria Williams

Helen Maria Williams (17 June 1759 – 15 December 1827) 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 favourably portrayed in a 1787 poem by William Wordsworth.

Early years and education

She was born on 17 June 1759 in London to a Scottish mother, Helen Hay, and a Welsh army officer father, Charles Williams. She had an older sister, Cecilia (baptized 1760), and an older half-sister Persis from her father's first marriage (born 1743). Her father died in December...
Read Full Biography of Helen Maria Williams


Helen Maria Williams Poems

  • Peru. Canto The Fourth
    THE ARGUMENT.

    Almagro's expedition to Chili - his troops suffer great hardships from cold, in crossing the Andes - they reach Chili - the Chilese make a brave resistance - the revolt of the Peruvians in Cuzco - they are led on by Manco-Capac, the successor of Ataliba - his parting with Cora, his wife - the Peruvians regain half their city - Almagro leaves Chili - to avoid the Andes, he crosses a vast desert - his troops can find no water - the rest divide in two bands - Alphonso leads the second band, which soon reaches a fertile valley - the Spaniards observe the natives are employed in searching the streams for gold - they resolve to attack them.
    ...
  • Peru. Canto The Second
    THE ARGUMENT.

    Pizarro, a Spanish Captain, lands with his forces - his meeting with Ataliba - its unhappy consequences - Zorai dies - Ataliba imprisoned, and strangled - Alzira's despair, and madness.
    ...
  • Peru. Canto The Third
    THE ARGUMENT.

    Pizarro takes possession of Cuzco - the fanaticism of Valverde, a Spanish priest - its dreadful effects - A Peruvian priest put to the torture - his daughter's distress - he is rescued by Las Casas, an amiable Spanish ecclesiastic, and led to a place of safety, where he dies - his daughter's narration of her sufferings - her death.
    ...
  • An American Tale
    "Ah! pity all the pangs I feel,
    If pity e'er ye knew;--
    An aged father's wounds to heal,
    Thro' scenes of death I flew. ...
  • Edwin And Eltruda, A Legendary Tale
    Mark it, Cesario, it is old and plain;
    The spinsters and the knitters in the sun,
    And the free maids, that weave their thread with bones
    Do use to chant it. It is silly, sooth, ...
Read All Poems


Top 10 most used topics by Helen Maria Williams

Tear 49 Soul 47 Heart 41 Love 38 I Love You 38 Dear 35 Bright 35 Earth 33 Spirit 33 Soft 33


Helen Maria Williams Quotes

Read All Quotes


Comments about Helen Maria Williams

Poetictouch: the night is dark, the waters deep, yet soft the billows roll; alas! at every breeze i weep – the storm is in my soul. ~ helen maria williams
Chawtonhouse: have you booked your tickets for our upcoming online talks? on 2 feb, emma yandle will be discussing the fascinating life of helen maria williams. on 16 feb, we will explore lady hester stanhope's appreciation of ancient heritage and her controversial archaeological dig.
Chawtonhouse: discover the fascinating story of helen maria williams, the english writer who made it her life's work to report on- and advocate for- the unfolding events of the french revolution during our online talk on 2 february. find out more and book today:
Mmeeemfg: poem of the week: sonnet on reading burns’ to a mountain daisy by helen maria williams
Chawtonhouse: don't miss our upcoming online talk exploring the story of helen maria williams, the english writer who made it her life's work to report on the french revolution:
Read All Comments


Write your comment about Helen Maria Williams


Poem of the day

James Joyce Poem
Now, O Now In This Brown Land
 by James Joyce

Now, O now, in this brown land
Where Love did so sweet music make
We two shall wander, hand in hand,
Forbearing for old friendship' sake,
Nor grieve because our love was gay
Which now is ended in this way.

A rogue in red and yellow dress
...

Read complete poem

Popular Poets