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Radical Translations

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Anna Letitia Barbauld


  1. An address to the opposers of the repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts author
  2. Civic Sermons to the People has translation author
  3. 'Does France exist?' has translation author



There is an intriguing reference to two letters sent by the revolutionary journalist-politician, Jean-Paul Marat to Dr John Aikin on 5 & 27 May 1774, found pasted inside a copy of Marat's 'Chains of Slavery' (1774), in Notes and Queries (15 July 1922, p.53). In them, Marat asks Aikin to be his English translator, announces his ambition to become a naturalized Englishman, and proposes marriage to his sister, Anna Laetitia Aikin (later Barbauld). There is evidence to suggest that Marat (then known as 'Mara') had worked as a French teacher c.1771-72 at Warrington Academy, where her father taught. Another potential suitor was Archibald Hamilton Rowan who described her "dark blue eyes [beaming] with the light of wit and fancy".

See McCarthy, p. 588 fn., John H. McLachan, 'Warrington Academy, Its History and Influence' (1943, Chetham Society), pp.72-84, and Betsy Rodgers, 'Georgian Chronicle: Mrs. Barbauld and Her Family' (1958, Methuen), pp.63-68.