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1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)
The collection includes seven letters to Samuel Johnson, item (57), including two versions of the important 1784 June 30 letter informing him of her impending marriage to Gabriele Mario Piozzi, and her final 1784 July 4 letter to Johnson, essentially terminating their long friendship. The collection includes correspondence with other key members of the Johnsonian circle: one letter from Giuseppe Baretti, item (2); five letters to James Boswell, item (10); four letters to Charles Burney, item (13); five letters to Fanny Burney, item (14); one letter from Elizabeth Montagu, item (76); and one letter from Sir Joshua Reynolds, item (95). Many of the other letters also mention Johnson.
Several other frequent correspondents are represented in the collection. Included are six letters to Reynold Davies, tutor of her adopted son John Salusbury Piozzi Salusbury, item (25); seven letters to the Rev. George Henry Glasse, item (42); and eight letters to Penelope Sophia Weston Pennington, item (92).
Biographical / Historical
Henry Thrale died in 1781. In 1784, Hester married Gabriele Mario Piozzi (1740-1809), an Italian musician. The marriage was widely viewed as scandalous in London society, and terminated Hester's long friendship with Johnson. The Piozzis embarked on a tour of Europe for two and a half years, leaving her four daughters dispersed in England under the supervision of Henry Thrale's executors.
The Piozzis built a country house at Brynbella in Wales, which served as their primary residence from 1794 to 1809. Piozzi's young nephew John Salusbury Piozzi came to live with the Piozzis in 1798. Gabriele Mario Piozzi died in 1809, and shortly afterwards John was formally adopted as Hester's primary heir, assuming the name Sir John Salusbury Piozzi Salusbury (1793-1858). Hester spent most of her final years in Bath, England.
Hester Lynch Piozzi's publications included Anecdotes of the Late Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1786); Letters to and from the Late Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1788), and Retrospection, or, a Review of the Most Important and Striking Events, Characters, Situations, and their Consequences, which the Last Eighteen Hundred Years have Presented to the View of Mankind (1801).
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Adam, R.B., The R.B. Adam Library Relating to Samuel Johnson and His Era (London: Oxford University Press, 1929)
- Balderston, Katherine C., ed., Thraliana: The Diary of Mrs. Hester Lynch Thrale- (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1942)
- Bloom, Edward A., and Lillian A. Bloom, eds., The Piozzi Letters: Correspondence of Hester Lynch Piozzi, 1784-1821 (Formerly Mrs. Thrale) (Newark, Del.: University of Delaware, 1989-2002)
- Broadley, A.M., Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Thrale (London: John Lane, 1910)
- Chapman, R.W., The Letters of Samuel Johnson, with Mrs. Thrale's Genuine Letters to Him (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952)
- Clifford, James L., Hester Lynch Piozzi (Mrs. Thrale) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1941)
- Hill, Constance, The House in St. Martin's Street, Being Chronicles of the Burney Family. London: John Lane, 1907.
- Hill, George Birkbeck Norman; and Lawrence Fitzroy Powell, eds., Boswell's Life of Johnson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934)
- Hyde, Mary, The Impossible Friendship: Boswell and Mrs. Thrale (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972)
- Hyde, Mary, The Thrales of Streatham Park (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1977)
- Ingamells, John; and John Edgcumbe, eds., The Letters of Sir Joshua Reynolds (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2000)
- Knapp, Oswald G., ed., The Intimate Letters of Hester Piozzi and Penelope Pennington 1788-1821 (London: John Lane, 1914)
- Ribeiro, Alvaro, The Letters of Dr. Charles Burney (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991)
- Piozzi, Hester Lynch, 1741-1821. Hester Lynch Piozzi correspondence: Guide.
- Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
- EAD ID
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