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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Hyde 40

An essay on the life and genius of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., extra-illustrated


Manuscripts and prints inserted by W. Dorset Fellowes into Arthur Murphy's An Essay on the Life and Genius of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (London: T. Longman et al, 1793), mostly comments on the text by Fellowes, and also letters and notes by Hester Lynch Piozzi.


  • Creation: 1788-1844

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


.08 linear feet (60 items inserted into 1 volume)

Most of the manuscripts pasted into this volume are notes by William Dorset Fellowes responding to text of Arthur Murphy's An Essay on the Life and Genius of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. Some of Fellowes's comments incorporate anecdotes told to him by Hester Lynch Piozzi concerning Samuel Johnson and his circle. These anecdotes were apparently committed to paper long after Piozzi's death. In addition to his own notes, Fellowes incorporated other collected manuscript material into the volume: three short letters addressed to Peter Burrell, Baron Gwydir (1754-1820), mostly concerning tickets to the trial of Warren Hastings (1732-1818), pages 97, 101, and 191; and six items by Piozzi. Most of the Piozzi items are short notes and letters in her own hand, preceding the title page; perhaps most significant is her poem Nothing, page 175, transcribed by Fellowes from a manuscript which he reported as lost in a fire.

Also listed are fourteen etchings and engravings inserted into the text, mostly portraits of Johnson's extended circle, and three political caricatures.

This volume also has newspaper clippings inserted that are not listed in this finding aid.

Biographical / Historical

William Dorset Fellowes (1769-1852), who extra-illustrated this volume, was a friend of author Hester Lynch Piozzi during the last years of her life, and is mentioned frequently in her correspondence from 1815 onwards. His brother Sir James Fellowes was also a friend of Piozzi's, and served as her literary executor upon her death in 1821.

Physical Location

Hyde Case 9

Custodial History

Bookplate of [William] Dorset Fellowes (1769-1852); stamped by the Academy of Our Lady of Lourdes, New York City; gift of C.W. Force to Ralph Heyward Isham, 1943; sold by Isham to Mary Hyde, 1980 Mar.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2003JM-159. Bequest of Mary Hyde Eccles, Four Oaks Farm, Somerville, New Jersey; received: 2004.

Processing Information

Processed by: Rick Stattler

Murphy, Arthur, 1727-1805. An essay on the life and genius of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., extra-illustrated: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

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