Correspondence & Correspondents

Hester Lynch Piozzi, formerly Mrs. Thrale (1741-1821) – After their marriage, the Piozzis lived in Hester’s native Wales. With trips to Bath for Gabriel Piozzi’s health (he suffered from gout) and London (regarding her antagonistic daughters and the family’s Streatham property), the Piozzis sometimes made the detour and visited the Ladies. A few letters to them are published in The Piozzi Letters (6 vols.), but news of them crops up in letters to and from the Rev. Leonard Chappelow.

An exquisite anecdote comes via Mrs. Piozzi’s pen (March 18, 1796) in a letter to Rev. Chappelow, concerning his reception at the hands of the Ladies – and how that contrasted with the far different reception given the Thrale daughters. Just goes to show that Sarah and Eleanor would pick and choose whom they allowed to meet them… See also Chappelow’s comment on the Ladies’ frantic desire to meet the great Mrs. Siddons, when they “hear Mrs. Siddons is at Brynbella”.

These extracts will be presented in at least three files {this is the challenge when going from a website to a weblog}: 1788-1799; 1800-1810; and 1811-1821.

* * *

Anna 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).

Unfortunately, letter-writers write letters about themselves, so web-readers may learn more about Seward herself when she addresses letters to Eleanor and Sarah.


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