The Female Prose Writers of America: With Portraits, Biographical Notices, and Specimens of their Writings/Frances S. Osgood

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FRANCES S. OSGOOD.


The maiden name of Mrs. Osgood was Frances Sargent Locke. She was a native of Boston, and born (we believe) about the year 1813. Her early life was passed chiefly in the village of Hingham. She gave very early indications of poetical talent. Her abilities in this respect were first recognized by Mrs. Lydia Maria Child, who was then editing a Juvenile Miscellany. Miss Locke became a regular contributor to this work, and subsequently to other works, under the name of “Florence.” She was married in 1834 to Mr. Osgood, the painter, and accompanied him soon after to London. They remained in the great metropolis for four years, Mr. Osgood acquiring an enviable reputation as an artist, and Mrs. Osgood as a writer. After their return to the United States, they resided chiefly in New York, although Mr. Osgood has been occasionally absent on professional tours to different parts of the country. In 1841, Mrs. Osgood edited an Annual, “The Flowers of Poetry, and the Poetry of Flowers,” and in 1847, “The Floral Offering.” She published a collection of her poems in 1846, and in 1850 a complete collection of her poetical works in one large octavo volume. This work, which was issued in sumptuous style, contains all of her poems, up to that date, which she thought worthy of preservation. She, however, after that time produced some few other poems, which will probably take their place in future editions of her works.

Her prose contributions to the magazines were numerous, and would make, if collected, one or two volumes. Though prose in name, they are all essentially poetical, far more so than much that goes under the name of poetry. Her whole life, indeed, as it has been well remarked, was a continual poem. “Not to write poetry—not to think it—act it—dream it—and be it, was entirely out of her power.”

Mrs. Osgood died, greatly lamented, in May 1850.