Letitia Elizabeth Landon, English poet and novelist, better known by her initials L. E. L. Letitia Elizabeth Landon was born on 14 August 1802 in Chelsea, London to John Landon and Catherine Jane, at the age of five, Landon began attending Mrs Rowdens school at 22 Hans Place, which counted among its alumnae Mary Russell Mitford and Lady Caroline Lamb. The family moved to the country in 1809, so that John Landon could carry out a model farm project, I never knew her to be wrong. When young, Letitia was very close to her brother, Whittington Henry. Paying for Whittington through university was one of the needs that drove Letitia to publish and she also supported his preferment and later dedicated her poem ‘Captain Cook’ to their childhood days together. Whittington went on to become a minister and published a book of Sermons in 1835, sadly, he did not show any appreciation for all his sisters financial assistance but spread false rumours about her marriage and death. Letitia also had a sister, Elizabeth Jane, who was a frail child and died in 1819. Little is known of Elizabeth but her death may well have left an impression on Letitia. The following statements from those who knew her give some idea of the known as L. E. L. Emma Roberts, from her introduction to The Zenana and other works. Gay and piquant, her complexion, dark hair, and eyes, rendered her, when in health and spirits. Her figure was slight, and beautifully proportioned, with hands and feet. A little high-backed cane chair, which gave you any idea but that of comfort, one aspect that is common to all accounts of those who knew Miss Landon is that she possessed an exceptionally high level of intelligence. Fredric Rowton in his The Female Poets of Great Britain puts it thus, Of Mrs. Macleans genius there can be but one opinion. It is distinguished by very great power, a highly sensitive and ardent imagination, an intense fervour of passionate emotion. Of mere art she displays but little and her style is irregular and careless, and her painting sketchy and rough but there is genius in every line she has written. An agricultural depression soon followed, and the family moved back to London in 1815, where John Landon made the acquaintance of William Jerdan, editor of the Literary Gazette. According to 19th-century commentator Mrs A. T. Jerdan encouraged Landons poetic endeavors, and her first poem was published under the single initial L in the Gazette in 1820, when Landon was 18. The following year, with support from her grandmother, Landon published a book of poetry, The Fate of Adelaide
Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802–1838); variation of the original painting by Daniel Maclise
John Forster, to whom Landon was briefly engaged
This is an engraving by Chas. Rolls of a painting by artist Henry James Richter. The painting is titled, "The Love Letter". There is a poem written about this engraving that was authored by Letitia Elizabeth Landon and published in Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1833. The painting depicts a scene from Sir Walter Scott's book, The Antiquary. The painting is currently in a private collection.
Image: "The Love Letter" painting by Henry James Richter