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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Hyde 8

Hannah More papers


Letters by More, most of them to poet Thomas Sedgwick Whalley, many discussing her literary career; and two literary manuscripts.


  • Creation: 1785-1828
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1800-1828

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


.5 linear feet (1 box)

Series I, Correspondence, includes 50 of More's autograph letters, most of them to poet Thomas Sedgwick Whalley, items (14-19). Other prominent correspondents include Eva Maria Garrick, item (7); Lewis Way, item (13); and William Wilberforce, item (21). The letters often discuss her literary career; see items (5), (9), (10), and (12). At least two of the letters include interesting commentary on James Boswell, items (2) and (7).

Series II, Manuscripts, consists of an autograph quotation from her Practical Piety, and her autograph epitaph to an unidentified woman.

Biographical / Historical

Hannah More, one of five sisters, taught at her family's school in Bristol, England. She became prominent in London's Bluestocking circle from 1774 onward, and was also a friend of Samuel Johnson. Her work soon moved from poetry and drama to the production of numerous popular religious books and tracts. In 1789, she moved to Mendip, Somerset, where she and her sister Patty founded several schools. In 1801, she and her sisters moved to the Barley Wood estate in nearby Wrington.

Physical Location

b (shelved with MS Hyde 9)

Custodial History

Most of this collection was acquired by Donald and Mary Hyde in two lots. Twenty-eight of the letters in Series I had previously been bound into an extra-illustrated edition of The Life of Samuel Johnson LL.D., which Donald and Mary Hyde purchased at a Sotheby's auction in 1950, and which they disbound in 1953. Seventeen of the letters, and both of the items in Series II, were purchased from Emily Driscoll in 1963. Five other items came from miscellaneous sources.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2003JM-58 (part). Bequest of Mary Hyde Eccles, Four Oaks Farm, Somerville, New Jersey; received: 2004.

Related Materials

Two letters from Samuel Johnson to More are in MS Hyde 1, item (78). A letter from John Langhorne to More is in the Hyde Autograph Collection, MS Hyde 10. Fifteen letters from More to Frances Reynolds are in MS Hyde 25, item (3). Twelve letters from More to Thomas Cadell are in MS Hyde 69, items (28-30).


Many of the letters to Whalley were published in Rev. Hill Wickham, ed., Journals and Correspondence of Thomas Sedgewick Whalley, D.D. (London: Richard Bentley, 1863)

Processing Information

Processed by: Rick Stattler

More, Hannah, 1745-1833. Hannah More papers, 1785-1828: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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