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Emma Tatham

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Emma Tatham

Emma Tatham (1829-1855) was a 19th-century British poet. Although she is almost completely forgotten today, she was regarded in the Victorian era as a prodigy and a poetic genius.[1] She was born in London, and was homeschooled. She began to write poetry at an early age, and from the age of 16 to 18, she rapidly wrote an abundance of poems, published later in the collection The Dream of Pythagoras and Other Poems. When the collection was eventually published in 1854, some of the critics even compared her to Mary Shelley. She died the next year after a painful illness.

Matthew Arnold wrote in praise of her, remarking that "she had a sincere vein of poetical feeling, a genuine aptitude for composition."[2] A Protestant who resided in Margate, she was further described by Arnold as a "fervid Christian." A book of verse dedicated to Tatham was published in 1857 entitled Etchings and Pearls; or, a Flower Planted on the Grave of Emma Tatham, by Mrs. J. Cooke Westbrook. Leeds rules


  • The Dream of Pythagoras and Other Poems. London, Hamilton & Co., 1858. [1]


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