Chapter

The Spleen

Jennifer Radden

in The Nature of Melancholy

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195151657
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849253 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195151657.003.0014
The Spleen

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This chapter presents “The Spleen” by English poet Anne Finch. Finch, the daughter of a baronet, lived between 1661 and 1720. As maid of honor to the duchess of York and at the center of fashion around the court of James II, she met Heneage Finch. In 1685 she married Finch, who later became the fourth earl of Winchilsea. “Ardelia” was Anne Finch's pen name. “The Spleen,” is the best known of her works — a Pindaric ode that appeared in Charles Gildon's miscellany in 1701. The poem is thought to be based on Finch's personal experience: she had constitutionally low spirits and suffered from melancholy. She believed the malady to be physical in origin and tried various nostrums, including tea, coffee, and mineral springs.

Keywords: Anne Finch; Heneage Finch; The Spleen; melancholy

Chapter.  2017 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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