Shelle C. Wilson Bryantand Patrick W. Bryant
Poet Frances Sargent Locke was born in 1811 to a Boston merchant and his second wife. She spent her childhood in Hingham, Massachusetts, with her older sister, Anna Maria Wells (also a poet) and a brother. Educated mostly at home, Frances was a published poet by her early twenties and would have more than six books of poetry published over her lifetime. Her first poems were published before her marriage to Charles Stillman Osgood in October of 1835, whom she had met in 1834 when he painted her portrait. After marrying, the couple immediately moved to London and welcomed the birth of their first daughter, Ellen, in July of 1836.
Both Frances and Charles enjoyed great success in England where they were members of London's high society. Frances published two books of poetry while there, A Wreath of Wild Flowers from New England ( 1838) and The Casket of Fate ( 1839). After five years, and pregnant a second time, Frances returned to America with Charles and gave birth to another daughter, May.
The 1840s were productive for Osgood; she wrote or edited six books, including The Poetry of Flowers and Flowers of Poetry ( 1841), Puss in Boots and the Marquis of Carabas ( 1844), Poems ( 1846), and Cries of New York ( 1846), and contributed poetry and short fiction to many journals of the day, including Graham's Magazine, Ladies Magazine, and Broadway Journal. During this creatively successful period, she again moved in elite circles, attending meetings at many of New York's literary salons. However, while her poetry met with popular success, her marriage was in jeopardy, and she and Charles separated in 1844. Much of her poetry around this time alludes to Charles's infidelity, though no proof has surfaced.