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Piozzi, Hester Lynch, 1741–1821
Hester Lynch Piozzi letters to Dr. William Makepeace Thackeray, 1795, April 16-1816, September 10.
Physical Description:
1 volume ([225] p.) ; 26 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
MSS 29
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Related Content:
View a description and listing of collection contents in the finding aid
Archives & Manuscripts
The letters in the present volume are not included in The Piozzi letters : correspondence of Hester Lynch Piozzi, 1784-1821 / edited by Edward A. Bloom and Lillian D. Bloom (1989-1993).
The collection is open without restriction.
Hester Lynch Piozzi (née Salusbury; other married name Thrale), 1741-1821, was a prominent diarist, author, and patron of the arts in late 18th century Britain. She is also known as a notable friend of Dr. Samuel Johnson. After Johnson's death, she published Anecdotes of the late Samuel Johnson, LL.D., during the last Twenty Years of his Life (1786), and Letters to and from the late Samuel Johnson, LL.D (1788). Other notable works by Piozzi include: Observations and reflections made in the course of a journey through France, Italy, and Germany (1789); British synonymy, or, An attempt at regulating the choice of words in familiar conversation (1794); and Retrospection, or, A review of the most striking and important events, characters, situations, and their consequences, which the last eighteen hundred years have presented to the view of mankind (1801). Dr. William Makepeace Thackeray (1770-1849) was a notable physician at Chester (in the county of Cheshire) and uncle of the famous English novelist of the same name.
The collection comprises 98 autograph letters from Hester Lynch Piozzi to her friend and physician, Dr. William Makepeace Thackeray, dated between April 16, 1795, and September 10, 1816, compiled and bound together in a single album. The letters cover Mrs. Piozzi's life with her second husband, the musician Gabriel Piozzi, his illness and eventual death in March 1809 from gout, and the subsequent years of widowhood. The letters are chiefly written from Brynhella, Mrs. Piozzi's villa in the Vale of Clwyd. The correspondence includes news of family matters and a detailed record of her husband's lengthy illness, the latter often accompanied by requests for medical advice or professional visits from Dr. Thackeray.
The letters are frequently interspersed with literary and other allusions and anecdotes, political gossip, and bon mots. They include references to many friends and associates of Mrs. Piozzi, including Dr. Johnson ("Dear Dr. Johnson was not difficult to be imposed on where the heart came in question, but he would not have believed this story about Shakespeare"), David Garrick ("Is not it curious to reflect that the year MY old friend burst upon mankind in the same way, - was marked by contagion: & people called it the Garrick Fever") and Mrs. Siddons, as well as comments on the Napoleonic Wars ("All is gathering fast to a head; Buonaparte has pledged himself to effect our ruin, & they spare us 200,000 men").
Two of the letters include original verse: item 82, a poem of 24 lines entitled "A song made in time of the mutiny by desire of some loyalists who dined at the Crown & Anchor Tavern, Tune Nancy Dawson"; and item 80, a poem of 7 lines, untitled. Most of the letters are signed either in full or with the initials HLP, but a few are either unsigned or bear the signature "Brynbella," the name of Mrs. Piozzi's villa. Also included in the collection is a letter announcing the death of Mr. Piozzi, written on behalf of Mrs. Piozzi by her friend Mrs. Moore.
The letters are bound in chronological order, with undated material bound at the end.
Subject Terms:
Abercorn, James Hamilton, Duke of, 1811-1885.
Authors, English -- 18th century -- Correspondence.
Broster, John, -1816.
Chappelow, William.
Dore, Maria.
First Coalition, War of the, 1792-1797.
Garrick, David, 1717-1779.
Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 1789-1820.
Hoare, Henry Merrick, 1770-1856.
Hoare, Sophia Thrale, 1771-1824.
Hodgkins, Samuel.
Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784.
Keith, Hester Maria Elphinstone, Viscountess, 1764-1857.
Leak, Alexander, 1776-1816.
Medicine -- Great Britain.
Moore, John, 1752-1820.
Mostyn, Cecilia Margaretta Thrale, 1777-1857.
Mostyn, John, 1775-1807.
Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, 1769-1821.
Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815.
Parry, Caleb Hillier, 1755-1822.
Pepys, Lucas, Sir, 1742-1830.
Physicians -- Great Britain.
Piozzi, Gabriele Mario, 1740-1809.
Piozzi, Hester Lynch, 1741-1821. Correspondence.
Piozzi, John Salusbury.
Siddons, Sarah, 1755-1831.
Streatham Park (London, England)
Thackeray, Elizabeth, approximately 1780-
Thackeray, Martin, 1783-1864.
Thackeray, Selina Martha, 1806-1835.
Thackeray, William Makepeace, 1770-1849 -- Correspondence.
Thackeray, William Makepeace, 1770-1849.

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