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.
' 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
, 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 romantic loveliness and grace.
She always dressed in white or gray, wearing transparent sleeves, through which her beautiful arms were seen, and her hands were almost always covered with white kid gloves
She seemed to reverence her own personal charms, and felt it a duty to preserve her own sweetness.
When past the meridian of life, her hair and teeth were as beautiful as those of a young girl.
I should say that a keen sense of truth and justice, and the most delicate perceptions, and actual worship of beauty, were the predominant traits of her character.’
As residents of Medford
, the lapse of years seems to be bridged, and we join hands in a nearer and more personal introduction to Mrs. Brooks
, through a letter from Miss Lucy Osgood
She writes: ‘I have a dim recollection of a lady walking out at odd hours, and dressed in white at odd seasons, and of being told she was Mrs. Brooks
, of the Gowen
family, a poetess.
She and her family soon disappeared, and I afterward found, chiefly through a long, respectful article in one of the ’