News, Culture & Society

Joanna Baillie: Google Doodle celebrates the Scottish poet

Joanna Baillie: Google Doodle celebrates the Scottish poet

  • Google has marked Joanna Baillie’s 256th birthday with a new Google Doodle
  • Baillie’s many works helped to usher in the era of English Romantic literature
  • In addition to her prolific writing career, she was known for her philanthropy  

Google has just marked what would’ve been the 256th birthday of Scottish writer Joanna Baillie with a new Google Doodle.

One of the most important writers of her time, she helped to usher in the age of English Romanticism in literature and continues to be held in high esteem to this day.

Here’s a quick look at who she was and what a Google Doodle is.

Google’s new Doodle for September 11, 2018 celebrates the life and work of Joanna Baillie

Who was Joanna Baillie?

Joanna Baillie was an acclaimed poet, dramatist and writer from Scotland known for works like Fugitive Verses and Plays on the Passions.

She was born in Bothwell, Scotland on September 11, 1762.

Born into a wealthy family, she took up writing at a young age and published her first poem Winter Day to celebrate her home country’s natural beauty. Her later works, Plays of the Passions, published from 1798 to 1812, helped lead the rise of English Romanticism in literature while Fugitive Verses, published in 1840, was also critically acclaimed.

Hailed by critics, Baillie’s works were first published anonymously, as she often shied away from attention. Still, she was often compared to Shakespeare by her contemporaries and are still highly-regarded even today.

In addition to her acclaimed writing career, Baillie was a prolific philanthropist, donating half of her earnings to charity while also advocating on behalf of women and the working class.

She died on February 23, 1851 at age 88, but is still held in great esteem both for her writing and philanthropic efforts.

What is a Google Doodle?

Google Doodles are temporary changes to Google’s homepage logo in recognition of notable people, achievements, events, anniversaries and the like.

Introduced back in 1998 to mark the Burning Man festival, they were at first created by Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page before an in-house team called Doodlers was established to produce them more regularly.

In recent years, Google Doodles have been used to mark major holidays like Labor Day as well as notable people like Dorothy Hill and Oskar Schlemmer.