Letitia Elizabeth Maclean (Landon), an English authoress, born in Old Brompton, a suburb of London, in 1802, died at Cape Coast Castle, Africa, Oct. 15, 1838. At the age of 13 she began to write poetry, and in 1820 she published in the "Literary Gazette" some short poems, signed "L. E. L.," which attracted considerable attention. She soon became a general contributor to the " Gazette" of reviews and miscellaneous articles, as well as original poems. Her father died in destitute circumstances when she was a child, and she became the chief support of her family, and for 15 years was a ready and prolific writer in prose and verse for the annuals and for a variety of periodicals. In 1821 she published a small collection entitled "The Fate of Adelaide, and other Poems," which was succeeded by "The Improvisatrice" (1824), "The Troubadour" (1825), "The Golden Violet" (1827), "The Venetian Bracelet" (1829), and "The Vow of the Peacock" (1835). Her poetry is mainly of the kind which is warmly admired by youthful readers, but is soon outgrown, full of sentiment and delicate fancies melodiously versified. She also published four novels. In June, 1838, she was married to George Maclean, governor of Cape Coast Castle in West Africa, and soon afterward sailed with him for her new home.
She died in a few months after her arrival there, from an overdose of prussic acid, which she had been accustomed to take in small quantities for hysteric affections, and was discovered lying dead upon the floor of her chamber. "The Zenana, and Minor Poems," with a memoir, was published posthumously (1839). - See "Life and Literary Remains of L. E. L.," by Laman Blanchard (2 vols., London, 1841).