Estelle Anna Lewis

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Estelle Anna Lewis
Appletons' Lewis Estelle Anna Blanche Robinson.jpg


Estelle Anna Blanche Robinson Lewis (April 1824 – 24 November 1880) was a United States poet and dramatist.


Lewis was born near Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of John Robinson, a wealthy planter from Cuba of English and Spanish descent. While a school girl at Emma Willard's seminary in Troy, New York, she translated the Aeneid into English verse, composed a ballad called "The Forsaken," which Edgar A. Poe praised extravagantly, and published Records of the Heart, which contains some of her best minor verses (New York, 1844).

In 1841, she married Sidney D. Lewis, of Brooklyn, New York, and she moved to his home. They hosted salons and were noted figures in the New York literary scene. They were divorced in 1858, and afterward she resided mostly abroad, principally in England.

While in Italy, in 1863, she wrote her tragedy of Helémah, or the Fall of Montezuma, which was published on her return to the United States the next year (New York, 1864). The success of this work encouraged her to write Sappho of Lesbos, a tragedy, her best dramatic work (London, 1868). This reached a seventh edition, and was translated into modern Greek and played at Athens.

She returned to England in 1865, and her last work was a series of sonnets in defence of Edgar Allan Poe. The French poet Alphonse de Lamartine called her the "Female Petrarch," and Poe "the rival of Sappho." She died in London, England.

Her other works are The Child of the Sea and other Poems (New York, 1848), The Myths of the Minstrel (1852), Poems (London, 1866) and The King's Stratagem, a tragedy (1869).


  • Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWilson, J. G.; Fiske, J., eds. (1892). "Lewis, Estelle Anna Blanche Robinson". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
  • "ESTELLE ANNA LEWIS (1824 – 1880)". Retrieved 21 June 2011.

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