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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Eng 1755

Hester Lynch Piozzi, Samuel Johnson, Anna Seward letters, and other letters


Letters written by Hester Lynch Piozzi, Samuel Johnson, Anna Seward, and others, describing conditions in late 18th and early 19th-century England.


  • Creation: 1758-1820

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English and French.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.


.4 linear feet (1 box)

Predominately letters written by Hester Lynch Piozzi to her friends after the death of her husband and banishment from the artistic world. Piozzi writes to her friends and family mourning her old age and loss of artistic stimulation since her scandalous marriage to Gabriele Mario Piozzi (1740-1809) in the midst of Napoleonic Wars hardships. Includes sympathy notes, gossip, requests for literature, and bill payments on past homesteads. Also includes letters from Samuel Johnson and Anna Seward to friends and family discussing poor health and its negative effects on their work.

Biographical / Historical

Hester Lynch Salusbury was born in Wales in 1741, and in 1763 married wealthy London brewer Henry Thrale. After the Thrales were introduced to Samuel Johnson in 1765, their home became the center of an important coterie of literary, artistic, and political figures.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was one of the leading literary figures of eighteenth-century England. He is best remembered for compiling the first comprehensive dictionary of the English language, published in 1755. He was memorialized in James Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1791).

Anna Seward (1747-1809) was an English Romantic poet.


Arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

2008M-107. Purchase with the Endowment Fund for the Donald and Mary Hyde Collection and the Amy Lowell Trust; received: 2009 May 15.

Related Materials

Other Johnson correspondence can be found at the Houghton Library, particularly MS Hyde 1.

Other Hester Lynch Piozzi correspondence can be found at the Houghton Library, particularly MS Hyde 3.

Processing Information

Processed by: Clinton Johnson

Piozzi, Hester Lynch, 1741-1821. Hester Lynch Piozzi, Samuel Johnson, Anna Seward letters, and other letters, 1758-1820: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

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