English historian and biographer. Name variations: edited under pseudonym Mary Godolphin. Born at Warrington, Lancashire, England, Nov 6, 1781; died at Hampstead, England, Jan 29, 1864; dau. of John Aikin (physician and author [1747–1822]) and Martha (Jennings) Aikin; niece of Anna Letita Barbauld.
One of the most accomplished literary women of her time, received a classical education from her father, who taught in a nonconformist academy; after assisting him and her aunt, Anna Letitia Barbauld, in their literary work, published a volume of poetry Epistles to Women (1810); a staunch Unitarian and feminist, protested the view of women’s roles in 19th-century England; edited many children’s books under the name Mary Godolphin, but is best remembered for her memoirs of the courts of Elizabeth I (1818), James I (1822), and Charles I (1833), and her Life of Addison (1843).