Anna Seward’s LETTERS now complete

seward_kettleAnna Seward (1742-1809) – The six-volume Letters of Anna Seward written between the years 1784 and 1807 appeared in 1811. Volumes 4, 5, and 6 include letters to the Ladies of Llangollen. The most impressive, however, in terms of first-hand accounts of the Ladies, was sent to the Rev. HENRY WHITE of Lichfield, the letter dated Barmouth, September 7, 1795. Their aeolian harp (and Seward’s production of one for her own use) is described in the letter to Miss WINGFIELD (vol. 4; letter XLVII).

I kick myself – for I find I never posted the WHITE letter! The Ladies deserved much better from me.

And I originally thought a letter to Mrs Parry Price was of equal importance until I had to hunt up the original image views of the letters (from microfilm). I was furiously typing, when, half-way through, I realized her letter dated 15 October 1795 doesn’t mention them. No wonder that one never got transcribed…

But I do find a letter to Mrs Parry Price dated 15 September 1795 does mention them. Only there seems to be no letter in my stock pile.  I transcribed it from a copy of Report of the Royal commission on Historical Manuscripts.

The letter to Miss Mary Powys mentions Sarah and Eleanor – could I have meant to highlight that letter? I just don’t remember. It is about this time of year, eight years ago, that I first put up a website (now defunct) about the Ladies of Llangollen. It was in looking for contemporary reports on them, by people who had met them, that I first found dear little Mary Gosling. Her travel diary to Wales in 1821 (Mary’s short story of meeting the ladies) is what lead me to Mary and Emma.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bettina Harden
    Jun 10, 2014 @ 06:05:05

    This is a simply splendid website and has offered me so many places to search and letters and journals to read in pursuit of my MA in Garden History and my piece focused on Plas Newydd, Llangollen. Thank you for all the magnificent hard work and dedication that has gone into producing it.


    • Janeite Kelly
      Jun 10, 2014 @ 18:09:42

      Thanks, Bettina, for the very kind words of encouragement! If you have anything that you’d like to share, and see on the blog, do email me (smithandgosling [at] gmail [dot] com). I love to post items that people send my way.



  2. audrey antley
    Jul 19, 2014 @ 02:53:58

    Thank you SO very much for creating this website! I have been enchanted by Eleanor and Sarah for many years and have fancied my home a Little Llangollen. I now know I’ll need to be a LOT neater if I wish to emulate them properly! I am especially charmed by the butter churn detail and wish I could have viewed their volcanic lighting scheme. DO please, continue to enrich this lovely archive. Rest assured, I will be visiting again and again. Audrey Antley


    • Janeite Kelly
      Jul 19, 2014 @ 10:20:58

      Thanks, Audrey, for the words of encouragement!

      There’s so much out there – written in their lifetime, noted down in journals or letters – and, as you say, they are ‘enchanting’.

      It’s the age-old problem: finding time to devote to a project! But with readers, such as yourself, reaching out, it makes making the time worth it.


      PS – always happy to post what others find and what to share; so do feel free to contribute!


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