Priscilla Poynton from Lichfield lost her eyesight at 12 and, as we know now, throughout history women were either anonymous or forgotten. Priscilla persisted and became a fairly (although forgotten) successful poet and wrote a book called ‘Poems on Several Occasions’, which consisted of 36 poems, still available to purchase today. Priscilla had over 1300 subscribers where she used poetry, with a dash of wit and charisma to share her experiences of the complexities of being blind in the 18th century. Priscilla deconstructs the stigma of her disability and controls her own narrative, poignantly and powerfully.
She assures us that:
“The little knowledge she has gain’d
Was all from simple Nature drain’d,”
Priscilla Poynton, ‘Poems on Several Occasions’ by Miss Priscilla Pointon of Lichfield (Birmingham: T. Warren, 1770).