City Readers Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library
Elizabeth Singer Rowe (1674-1737)
Elizabeth Singer Rowe (née Singer, 1674–1737) was an English poet, essayist and fiction writer described as "the ornament of her sex and age" and the "Heavenly Singer". She was among the most widely read 18th-century English authors She wrote mainly religious poetry, but her best known work was Friendship in Death (1728), a series of imaginary letters from the dead to the living. Despite a posthumous reputation as a pious and bereaved recluse, Rowe kept up a wide and active correspondence and was involved in local concerns at Frome in her native Somerset. She continued to be popular and often translated well into the 19th century, on both sides of the Atlantic. She is little read today, but scholars note she was stylistically and thematically radical for her time.