Anna Maria Porter

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Anna Maria Porter, from an engraving for The Ladies' Pocket Magazine (1824)

Anna Maria Porter (1780–1832) was a Scottish poet and novelist.


The sister of Jane Porter, she was born in the Bailey in Durham, England. Her father, William Porter (1735-1779), served as an army surgeon for 23 years and died before her birth. He is buried in St Oswald's church, Durham.

Anna, being fair-haired, pretty and gay, was nicknamed 'L'Allegra'. After the death of the father the family settled in Edinburgh, where they enjoyed the friendship of Walter Scott. Anna at the age of 12 published Artless Tales. She was in London by the 1790s, publishing verse in the Universal Magazine. After Artless Tales, she also wrote a short novel Walsh Colville published anonymously in 1797. Though her sister was the more popular writer, Anna was the more prolific. The Hungarian Brothers (1807), a historical romance set against the French Revolutionary Wars, was a success and went into several editions.

Anna also produced the humanitarian Tales of Pity on Fishing, Shooting and Hunting in 1814, and collaborated with her sister on collections of stories. In all, she published some thirty works, many being translated into French.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Wikisource