Ann Hawkshaw was born into a large family of religious dissenters in rural Yorkshire in 1812. After marrying the engineer John Hawkshaw in 1835 she moved to Manchester where she published her first volume of poetry in 1842. Three further volumes followed, each distinct in its poetic style and scope. ‘The Collected Works of Ann Hawkshaw’ brings together Hawkshaw’s four volumes of poetry and republishes them for the first time. Her writings have been largely neglected since the late nineteenth century, but this new collection reaffirms their ability to offer an exceptional insight into the changing political and religious landscape of the Victorian period. Although from modest beginnings, Hawkshaw’s life of upward mobility brought her into contact with many of the prominent thinkers and writers of the age. A contemporary of Elizabeth Gaskell and related by marriage to Charles Darwin and the Wedgwood family, Hawkshaw was well positioned in Victorian society and used her poetry to comment on contemporary political and social concerns. Her enthusiasm for British history is reflected throughout her writing, particularly in the ambitious one hundred sonnet sequence Sonnets on Anglo-Saxon History (1854) in which she challenges established historical accounts of the period. Elsewhere Hawkshaw writes as a mother, most poignantly in relation to the deaths of three of her children. ‘The Collected Works’ includes a comprehensive biography, critical introduction and notes which highlight Hawkshaw’s most significant poems and place her life and works in a cultural and literary context.