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Abstract

Elizabeth Seton’s commonplace book of poetry, compiled between 1788 and 1801, is presented. According to Ellin Kelly, “the collection provide[s] valuable insights into young Elizabeth Bayley’s character in the years prior to and after her marriage to William McGee Seton” that are not found in other sources. They show her transition from teenager to wife and mother. Forty-eight selections from thirty-two poets are included, ranging from a few lines to complete poems. Aside from Shakespeare and Milton, almost all the other poets were prominent in Elizabeth’s time. Themes among the poems include nature, the human condition, virtue, romantic love, friendship, memories of youth, death, and immortality.

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