Category: News

The Attic Chest

Anna Jane Vardill was an enthusiastic contributor to the Attic Chest literary circle hosted by Eleanor Anne Porden. Her submissions to the circle are preserved by the Derbyshire Record Office (DRO) as part of the Gell Collection.

With the help and cooperation of the DRO, the Society has transcribed the entire Attic Chest collection and placed it online. The collection is available at and links to Vardill’s contributions can be found at

A reference section has been added for materials related to the Attic Chest. The following items are currently available:

  1. Eleanor Anne Porden. The Veils; or The Triumph of Constancy. London: John Murray, 1815.
  2. Edith Mary Gell. John Franklin’s Bride. London: John Murray, 1930.

Canzonet for Three Friends

The Society’s attention has been drawn to an earlier publication of two poems that appear in Vardill’s Poems and Translations from the Minor Greek Poets etc., published in 1809.

Canzonet for Three Friends appears on page 47 of La Belle Assemblée or, Bell’s Court and Fashionable Magazine for July, 1807, under the title An Original Air, by a Casmerian Indian. On the same page is The Hungarian Gipsy’s Song, another of Vardill’s poems that subsequently appeared in Poems and Translations. La Belle Assemblée credits both poems to “A. V—LL”, and Clipstone-street is given as the address of the poet. This confirms Vardill’s authorship, as she was known to have been living there at this time.

In 1817 The Canzonet for Three Friends was set to music by William Horsley and published as a music score by G. Graupner (Boston, Mass.), though no credit is given to the author of the lyrics.

In 1873 The Canzonet made its way into The Voice of Praise: A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the Methodist Church (James Robison, Pittsburgh, Penn.), in which it appears on page 353 as Hymn No. 521, where it is categorised as a “Parting Hymn”. No tune is given but the words are incorrectly attributed to A. A. Watts.

Acquisition of Poems and Translations

The Society has purchased a copy of the third edition of Vardill’s Poems and Translations &c., through bookseller Christopher Edwards of Henley-on-Thames. The binding is in fragile condition and digital scanning would cause unacceptable damage. Consequently volunteers are transcribing the volume, line by line, page by page. Completed poems are being uploaded to the main site when proofed and edited:

Poems and Translations

The table of contents is inaccurate and the page headings inconsistent. The provisional categorisation of transcribed poems is based on the titles and subtitles.

One problem that remains to be resolved is the transcription of Greek quotations. Updates on progress will be posted to this site.