Ann Yearsley (1753-1806) was a self-taught poet who was taken under the wing of Hannah More, who rescued her family from destitution by arranging for her poems to be published as Poems, on Several Occasions (1785). Yearsley made her living selling milk, and was known as “the milkwoman” or “Lactilla”; she was regarded by her middle-class readers as a curiosity. More and Elizabeth Montagu appointed themselves as trustees of the money they had raised from subscribers to the book, with the intention of preventing Yearsley from squandering it, but she protested and accused them of theft. The resulting publicity was an embarrassment to them both; their friends supported them by accusing Yearsley of base ingratitude.
Also known as:
- Ann Yearsley
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