Anne Ingram, Viscountess Irvine

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Anne, Viscountess Irwin lived from c.1696 to 1764. She was a poet and close friend of Horace Walpole.


Anne's father was Charles Howard, 3rd Earl of Carlisle and her mother was Anne Capel, daughter of the Earl of Essex and granddaughter of the Earl of Northumberland. Anne was raised in Yorkshire.[1][2] By 1712, her parents were irretreviably separated, and Anne seems to have remained close to her father; some of her letters to him survive. She wrote a poem that was a tribute to her father, "Castle Howard" in 1732.[1]

Anne had no children with her first husband, Rich Ingram, 5th Viscount Irvine, who died in 1721, four years after their marriage. Anne traveled by herself to the Netherlands and France in 1730,[1] and then became an attendant of Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, wife of Frederick, Prince of Wales. It was not until 1737 that Anne remarried, after sixteen years of widowhood. She married Colonel William Douglas, despite the disapproval of her family. Her poetry defended women from the usual accusations[citation needed] of being manipulative and inferior.

"An Epistle to Mr. Pope"[edit]

One of Ingram’s most renowned poems is “An Epistle to Mr. Pope, Occasioned by his Characters of Women” that she wrote in response to Alexander Pope’s poem “Epistle 2. To a Lady” and his other poems where he addresses women. To argue against Pope’s differentiation, she creatively alters the rhyming couplet form Pope used to emphasize what both sexes have in common: the love of power. Many lines in this poem are slightly altered from Pope or exactly quoted in a different context, “For love of power is still the love of fame” (“Epistle 2. To a Lady,” lines 207-10; “An Epistle to Mr. Pope,” line 22).[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Greenblatt, Stephen, ed. "Anne Ingram, Viscountess Irwin." The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2012. 2780-83. Print.
  2. ^ Ingram [née Howard; other married name Douglas], Anne, Viscountess Irwin [Irvine] (c.1696–1764), poet, by Richard Quaintance