Landon, Letitia Elizabeth

Landon, Letitia Elizabeth, pseud. L.E.L., 1802–38, English poet and novelist. Although no longer highly regarded, she was one of the best-known and popular literary figures of her day. Dubbed the “female Byron,” she wrote in a Romantic style and was extremely prolific, penning novels, poetry, essays, and other works. Her often sentimental contributions in verse to the Literary Gazette and other publications, often concerning unrequited love and many written while she was a teenager, had wide appeal, particularly with female readers. Of her novels Ethel Churchill (1837) is considered the best. Thought to be innocently virginal, she had secret lovers and three illegitimate children, which she gave away. She ultimately married George Maclean, the British governor at Cape Coast, Africa (now in Ghana), and died there shortly after her arrival under circumstances which have remained unclear.

See biographies by L. Blanchard (1841), D. E. Enfield (1928), and L. Miller (2019).

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