1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sigourney, Lydia Huntley

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SIGOURNEY, LYDIA HUNTLEY (1791-1865), American author, was born in Norwich, Connecticut, on the 1st of September 1791. She was educated in Norwich and Hartford. After conducting a private school for young ladies in Norwich, she conducted a similar school in Hartford from 1814 until 1819, when she was married to Charles Sigourney, a Hartford merchant. She contributed more than two thousand articles to many (nearly 300) periodicals, and wrote more than fifty books. She died in Hartford, on the 10th of June 1865. Her books include Moral Pieces in Prose and Verse (1815); Traits of the Aborigines of America (1822), a poem; A Sketch of Connecticut Forty Years Since (1824); Poems (1827); Letters to Young Ladies (1833), one of her best-known books; Sketches (1834), Poetry for Children (1834); Zinzendorf, and Other Poems (1835); Olive Buds (1836); Letters to Mothers (1838), republished in London; Pocahontas, and Other Poems (1841); Pleasant Memories of Pleasant Lands (1842), descriptive of her trip to Europe in 1840; Scenes in My Native Land (1844); Letters to My Pupils (1851); Olive Leaves (1851); The Faded Hope (1852), in memory of her only son, who died when he was nineteen years old; Past Meridian (1854); The Daily Counsellor (1858), poems; Gleanings (1860), selections from her verse; The Man of Uz, and Other Poems (1862); and Letters of Life (1866), giving an account of her career. She was one of the most popular writers of her day, both in America and in England, and was called “the American Hemans.” Her writings were characterized by fluency, grace and quiet reflection on nature, domestic and religious life, and philanthropic questions; but they were too often sentimental, didactic and commonplace to have much literary value. Some of her blank verse and pictures of nature suggest Bryant. Among her most successful poems are “Niagara” and “Indian Names.” Throughout her life she took an active interest in philanthropic and educational work.