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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 3. 1 1 Browse Search
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ces in the Mexican War. He died in 1894. Mrs. Brooks' first publication was made during the life of her husband, in 1820. In 1825 the first canto of Zophiel was published. In 1826-7-8 and 9 she worked at intervals on Zophiel. The whole poem was published in 1833-4. In 1843 Idomen appeared. Mrs. Brooks' baptismal name was not Maria, but Abigail. In 1819 the General Court allowed her to take the name of Mary Abigail Brooks, by which name she was baptized at King's Chapel, Boston, July 31, 1819. With the publication of Zophiel, in 1833, she assumed the nom de plume of Maria del Occidente, and signed her prefaces Maria Gowen Brooks. The romantic temperament indicated by her change of name and norm de plume finds corroboration in letters of contemporaries concerning her. Her niece, Mrs. Ellen Parker, of Boston, writes: In all my life I never passed more than a few months in the society of my aunt, Mrs. Brooks; but to my girlish vision she always appeared a being of the most