Anne Finch (née Kingsmill), Countess of Winchilsea (1661-1720), was of one the first English female poets to have her work published. As a child she lived for some time with her grandmother who, unusually for the period, ensured that she received some education in the classics, French, Italian, and the Scriptures.
Lady Winchilsea was happily married from 1684 onwards and wrote several love poems to her husband. However, she was also critical in her work of the social restrictions placed on women and the attitude of men towards women.
Extract from: A letter to Dafnis (1685)
This to the Crown, and blessing of my life,
The much lov'd husband of a happy wife.
To him, whose constant passion found the art
To win a stubborn and ungratefull heart;