Hester Lynch Piozzi (Mrs. Thrale)
Last revised 14 November 2000
Bibliographies and Archival Information
- William McCarthy, "The Writings of Hester Lynch Piozzi: A
Bibliography," Bulletin of Bibliography 45, no. 2 (June
- Moses Tyson, "Unpublished Manuscripts, Papers and Letters of
Dr. Johnson, Mrs. Thrale, and Their Friends, in the John Rylands
Library," Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 15 (July
- Henry Guppy, "Library Notes and News," Bulletin of the
John Rylands Library 16 (Jan. 1932): 9-15. A descriptiuon of
Johnson and Thrale MS.
- Edward A. Bloom and Lillian D. Bloom, eds., The Piozzi
Letters: Correspondence of Hester Lynch Piozzi, 1784-1821.
See below under "Correspondence." Contains bibliography and
information on manuscript repositories.
Bibliographies of Samuel Johnson (many entries relevant
to study of HLP)
- James L. Clifford and Donald J. Greene, Samuel Johnson: A
Survey and Bibliography of Critical Studies (Minneapolis:
Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1970). The state of Johnson studies
- Donald J. Greene and John A. Vance, A Bibliography of
Johnsonian Studies, 1970-1985 (Victoria: Univ. of Victoria,
1987). Supplement to Clifford and Greene.
- Jack Lynch, A Bibliography of Johnsonian Studies,
1986-1998 (New York: AMS Press, 2000). A searchable and
updated version appears on-line at http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Johnson/sjbib.html.
An extension of Greene and Vance.
- Donald D. Eddy, Sale Catalogues of the Libraries of Samuel
Johnson, Hester Lynch Thrale (Mrs. Piozzi) and James Boswell
(New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Books, 1993). Facsimiles. N.B. The
sale catalog of Piozzi's library, Collectanea Johnsoniana,
quotes some of HLP's marginalia.
- Autobiography, Letters and Literary Remains of Mrs. Piozzi
(Thrale), ed. A[braham] Hayward (London: Longman, Green,
1861; Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1861). Partially superseded by
Thraliana (ed. Balderston) and Letters (ed. Bloom,
in progress); otherwise the only anthology of HLP's work.
Contains selections from Thraliana and other journals;
annotations and marginalia; miscellaneous poetry, including "The
Three Warnings" and "Della Crusca" verses; extracts from
British Synonymy; and selected letters, 1794-1821.
- "The Three Warnings. A Tale." Unsigned. In Anna Williams,
Miscellanies in Prose and Verse (London: Davies, 1766),
pp. 74-80. Published separately as The Three Warnings
(Kidderminster: John Gower, 1792).
- The Florence Miscellany (Florence, 1785). HLP
contributed the "Preface" and "Conclusion," "Translation" [of
Ippolito Pindemonte, "Hymn of Calliope"], "To Wm. Parsons Esq.,"
"Imitation of the foregoing Sonnet [by Guiseppe Parini] on an Air
Balloon," "[Enigma] Imitated," "[Arietta] Imitated," "Translation
of an Italian Sonnet upon an English Watch," "Song," and "La
- Anecdotes of the late Samuel Johnson, LL.D. during the
Last Twenty Years of his Life, ed. S.C. Roberts (New York:
Books for Libraries, 1925, 1980). Facsimile of the 1786 first
edition. Introduction but no notes. This is the only edition of
Anecdotes in print.
- Anecdotes, in Johnsonian Miscellanies, ed. G.
B. Hill, 3 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1897), 1:141-352. The
annotations largely are devoted to identifying parallel anecdotes
in Boswell's Life of Johnson.
- Arthur Sherbo, ed., Anecdotes, printed together with
William Shaw, Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Late Dr.
Samuel Johnson (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1974). Useful
notes take Anecdotes on its own terms, rather than as a
supplement to Boswell.
- Observations and Reflections Made in the Course of a
Journey Through France, Italy and Germany, ed. Herbert
Barrows (Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press, 1967). Introduction
and minimal notes, mostly translations of Italian phrases.
- British Synonymy; or, An attempt at Regulating the Choice
of Words in Familiar Conversation, 2 vols. (Menston: Scolar
Press, 1968). Facsimile of the 1794 first edition. In the two
copies of the facsimile that I've seen, eight pages in vol. 2 are
blank: pp. 136-137, 140-141, 144-145, 148-149. These pages were
printed in the original edition.
- Three Warnings to John Bull before He Dies. By an old
Acquaintance of the Public (London, 1798). Political
- Retrospection; or, A Review of the Most Striking and
Important Events, Characters, Situations and Their Consequences
which the Last Eighteen Hundred Years Have Presented to the View
of Mankind, 2 vols. (London, 1801).
- Letters to and from the Late Samuel Johnson, LL.D.: To
which Are Added Some Poems Never Before Printed, Published from
the Original MSS. in Her Possession by Hester Lynch Piozzi, 2
vols. (London, 1788).
- G. B. Hill, ed., The Letters of Samuel Johnson; with Mrs.
Thrale's Genuine Letters to Him, 3 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon,
1952). Facsimile of the Victorian edition.
- Edward A. Bloom and Lillian D. Bloom, eds., The Piozzi
Letters: Correspondence of Hester Lynch Piozzi, 1784-1821,
Vol. 1: 1784-1791; Vol. 2: 1792-1798; Vol. 3: 1799-1804; Vol. 4:
1805-1810; Vol. 5: 1811-1816 (Newark: Univ. of Delaware Press,
1989-). Scrupulous and detailed annotation. Also bibliography and
information on manuscript repositories.
- Oswald G. Knapp, ed., The Intimate Letters of Hester
Piozzi and Penelope Pennington, 1788-1821 (London, Toronto,
and New York: John Lane; Bell and Cockburn, 1914). Will be
superseded when the Bloom edition is complete.
Diaries, Journals, and Commonplace Books
- Katharine C. Balderston, ed., Thraliana: The Diary of Mrs.
Hester Lynch Thrale (Later Mrs. Piozzi), 1776-1809, 2 vols.
(Oxford: Clarendon, 1942). Immensely valuable notes. As it
contains many verses transcribed by herself, Thraliana is
also an anthology of HLP's poetry.
- Richard Ingrams, ed., Dr. Johnson by Mrs. Thrale: The
"Anecdotes" of Mrs. Piozzi in their Original Form (London:
Chatto & Windus, 1984). Excerpts from Thraliana that
HLP revised for Anecdotes. Regrettably, Ingrams does not
juxtapose the original and revised versions.
- Mary Hyde, ed., "The Children's Book or rather Family Book," in
The Thrales of Streatham Park (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard
Univ. Press, 1976). Text of "family book" with editor's linking
narration; designed for the general reader.
- A. M. Broadley, ed., Doctor Johnson and Mrs. Thrale;
Including Mrs. Thrale's Unpublished Journal of the Welsh Tour
Made in 1774, and Much Hitherto Unpublished Correspondence of the
Streatham Coterie (London: John Lane, 1910).
- Moses Tyson and Henry Guppy, eds., The French Journals of
Mrs. Thrale and Dr. Johnson (New York: Haskell House, 1973).
Annotations and Marginalia
- E. Percival Merritt, ed., Piozzi Marginalia: Comprising
Some Extracts from Manuscripts of Hester Lynch Piozzi and
Annotations from her Books (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ.
Press, 1925). Includes "Minced Meat for Pyes."
- Edward G. Fletcher, ed., The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.
by James Boswell, with Marginal Comments and Markings from Two
Copies Annotated by Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi, 3 vols. (New
York: The Heritage Press, 1963). Introduction but no editorial
- The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson,
LL.D., by James Boswell, with Marginal Notes and Markings from a
Copy Annotated by Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi, Illustrated with
Reproductions of Contemporary Prints by Thomas Rowlandson
(Bloomfield, Conn.: Printed for the members of the Limited
Edition Club at the Sign of the Stone Book, 1974).
Appearances in Selected Teaching Editions and
- David Damrosch, gen. ed., The Longman Anthology of British
Literature, vol. 1C, ed. Stuart Sherman (New York: Longman,
1999), pp. 2829-942. Includes selections from "The Family Book"
- Robert DeMaria, Jr., ed., British Literature 1640-1789: An
Anthology (Oxford and Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1996), pp.
1109-14. Includes last eight paragraphs of Anecdotes and
three letters to Samuel Johnson.
- Roger Lonsdale, ed. Eighteenth-Century Women Poets: An
Oxford Anthology (Oxford Univ. Press, 1989), pp. 389-91.
Includes "An Ode to Society."
- Katherine M. Rogers and William McCarthy, eds., The
Meridian Anthology of Early Women Writers: British Literary Women
from Aphra Behn to Maria Edgeworth, 1660-1800 (New York:
Meridian [Penguin], 1987), pp. 225-59. Includes "The Three
Warnings," "On the Death of Elizabeth Carter," and selections
- James L Clifford, Hester Lynch Piozzi (Mrs. Thrale)
(Oxford: Clarendon, 1941). Second edition with corrections and
additions, 1968. Reprinted with introduction by Margaret Doody
(New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1987). Two important reviews of
the first edition are: Frederick A. Pottle and Charles H. Bennet,
"Boswell and Mrs. Piozzi," Modern Philology 39 (May 1942):
421-430; and Virginia Woolf, New Statesman and Nation (8
March 1941): 250; reprinted in The Moment and Other Essays
(London: Hogarth Press, 1947; New York: Harcourt Brace, 1948),
- Mary Hyde, The Impossible Friendship: Boswell and Mrs.
Thrale (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1972).
- William McCarthy, Hester Thrale Piozzi: Portrait of a
Literary Woman (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press,
- Lee Morgan, Dr. Johnson's "Own Dear Master": The Life of
Henry Thrale (Lanham, Md.: Univ. Press of America, 1998).
Biography of HLP's first husband.
- John Tearle, Mrs. Piozzi's Tall Young Beau: William
Augustus Conway (London and Toronto: Associated University
Presses, 1991). Life of HLP's protégé also covers
her later years.
- Katherine C. Balderston, "Johnson's Vile Melancholy," in
The Age of Johnson: Essays Presented to Chauncey Brewster
Tinker (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1949), pp. 3-14. Famous
speculation on possible masochistic relationship of Johnson and
- Edward A. Bloom, Lillian D. Bloom, and Joan E. Klingel,
"Portrait of a Georgian Lady: The Letters of Hester Lynch
(Thrale) Piozzi, 1784-1821," Bulletin of the John Rylands
Library 60, no. 2 (1978): 303-38. HLP's character ("a strong
individual who took what life offered; and what it offered
was sometimes bitter") based on her letters; reports initial
research for the ongoing edition of letters (see above).
- Edward E. Bostetter, "The Original Della Cruscans and the
Florence Miscellany," Huntington Library Quarterly 19
(1956): 277-300. HLP's preface is "a remarkable piece of
irrelevance"; while she honestly thought the poems were
"reciprocal expressions of kindness," the covert agenda of her
male collaborators was political and theoretical.
- Morris R. Brownell, "Hester Lynch Piozzi's Marginalia,"
Eighteenth-Century Life 3 (1977): 97-100. Marginalia as
autobiography; "as an annotator of books she requires no
- Martine Watson Brownley, "Eighteenth-Century Women's Images
and Roles: The Case of Hester Thrale Piozzi," Biography: An
Interdisciplinary Quarterly 3 (1980): 65-76.
- Martine Watson Brownley, "Samuel Johnson and the Printing
Career of Hester Lynch Piozzi," Bulletin of the John Rylands
Library 67, no. 2 (1985): 623-40. Contrasts HLP's published
works, which "recapitulated some of the high points of Johnson's
career in miniature" with her diaries and letters; the latter
"show her best self."
- Martine Watson Brownley, "'Under the Dominion of Some Woman':
The Friendship of Samuel Johnson and Hester Thrale," in
Mothering the Mind, ed. Ruth Perry and Martine Watson
Brownley (Holmes & Meier, 1984), 64-79. The "maternal
element" in HLP's relationship with SJ "produced insoluble
problems and unhealthy dependencies."
- James L. Clifford, "How Much Should a Biographer Tell? Some
Eighteenth-Century Views," in Essays In Eighteenth-Century
Biography, ed. Philip B. Daghlian (Bloomington: Indiana Univ.
Press, 1968), pp. 67-95.
- John A. Dussinger, "Hester Piozzi, Italy, and the Johnsonian
Aether," South Central Review 9, no. 4 (Winter 1992):
46-58. In her Observations HLP "adopted the strategy of
summoning Johnson's presence as a distinctively British witness
to a remote world."
- Gwin J. Kolb, "Mrs. (Thrale) Piozzi and Dr. Johnson's The
Fountains: A Fairy Tale," Novel: A Forum on Fiction 13
(1979): 68-81. A version of this article, omitting its discussion
of HLP's unpublished dramatic adaptation of "The Fountains,"
appears in Johnson's Rasselas and Other Tales, ed. Gwin J.
Kolb (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1990), 214-230.
- Irma S. Lustig, "Boswell at Work: The 'Animadversions' on
Mrs. Piozzi," Modern Language Review 67 (1972): 11-30.
Analyzes the hostile treatment of HLP's Anecdotes in the
Life of Johnson, concentrating on the revision of JB's
draft under the editorial guidance of Malone.
- Marie E. McAllister, "Gender, Myth, and Recompense: Hester
Thrale's Journal of a Tour to Wales," The Age of
Johnson: A Scholarly Annual 6 (1993): 265-82. Sees this
pre-Thraliana exercise in diary-making as "an attempt to
name and to contain the more restrictive elements of her
- William McCarthy, "The Repression of Hester Lynch Piozzi; Or,
How We Forgot a Revolution in Authorship," Modern Language
Studies 18, no. 1 (1988): 99-111.
- William McCarthy, "A Verse 'Essay on Man' by H. L. Piozzi,"
The Age of Johnson: A Scholarly Annual 2 (1989): 375-420.
First appearance in print of HLP's translation of Racine's
Épitre 1 sur l'homme; includes detailed textual and
- Felicity A. Nussbaum, "Managing Women: Thrale's 'Family Book'
and Thraliana," in The Autobiographical Subject: Gender
and Ideology in Eighteenth-Century England (Baltimore: Johns
Hopkins Univ. Press, 1989), pp. 201-24. An earlier version of
this chapter appears as "Eighteenth-Century Women's
Autobiographical Commonplaces," in The Private Self: Theory
and Practice of Women's Autobiographical Writings, ed. Shari
Benstock (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1988), pp.
- Richard R. Reynolds, "Mrs. Piozzi's 'Scotch Journey,' 1789,"
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 60, no. 1 (1977):
114-134. Description of HLP's travel journal, contrasted to the
journals of Dorothy Wordsworth and SJ.
- Alvaro Ribeiro, S.J., "Prattling upon Paper: The
Correspondence of Hester Lynch Thrale and Dr. Charles Burney,"
Studies on Voltaire & the Eighteenth Century 30, no. 4
(1992): 934-37. See the same author's "The 'Chit-Chatway': The
Letters of Mrs. Thrale and Dr. Burney," in Tradition in
Transition: Women Writers, Marginal Texts, and the
Eighteenth-Century Canon, ed. Alvaro Ribeiro, SJ and James G.
Basker (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), pp. 25-40.
- John C. Riely, "The Biographer as Advocate: Boswell and the
'Supper of Larks' Case," in Greene Centennial Studies: Essays
Presented to Donald Greene in the Centennial Year of the
University of Southern California, ed. Paul J. Korshin and
Robert R. Allen (Charlottesville: Univ. Press of Virginia, 1984),
pp. 307-19. Building on Lustig's work; a detailed and intriguing
analysis of Boswell's method of discrediting the accuracy of
- John C. Riely, "Johnson and Mrs. Thrale: The Beginning and
the End," in Johnson and His Age, ed. James Engell
(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1984), pp. 55-81.
Balanced narrative of the last months of Johnson's life and his
estrangement from HLP. An earlier essay by Riely, "Johnson's Last
Years with Mrs. Thrale: Facts and Problems," Bulletin of the
John Rylands Library 57, no. 1 (1974): 196-212, focuses on
scholarly debate over the facts of the break and offers a less
sympathetic reading of HLP's conduct.
- Valerie Rumbold, "Mrs. Thrale Leaves Home: Closed Circles and
Expanding Horizons in Hester Lynch Piozzi's Anecdotes of Dr.
Johnson," The New Rambler, D:12 (1996-97): 3-17.
- Patricia Meyer Spacks, "Scrapbook of a Self: Mrs. Piozzi's
Late Journals," Harvard Library Bulletin 18 (1970):
221-47. Psychoanalytic study of HLP; her writing reveals "the
nature of the feminine dilemma for an eighteenth-century woman
not gifted enough to escape the stereotypes of her sex and
- Janice Thaddeus, "Hoards of Sorrow: Hester Lynch Piozzi,
Frances Burney D'Arblay, and Intimate Death,"
Eighteenth-Century Life 14 (1990): 108-29. Contrasts their
emotional lives; HLP "hoarded her sorrow and her joy, and always
held back on the love she gave."
- Carol Ray Berninger, "Across Celtic Borders: Johnson,
Boswell, Piozzi, Scott," Dissertation Abstracts
International 54 (1994), 4099A. Drew University.
- Lu Ann Marrs, "Hester Thrale Piozzi and the Art of Travel,"
Dissertation Abstracts International 58 (1997), 4668A.
Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
- John C. Riely, "Bozzy and Piozzi: The History of a Literary
Friendship and Rivalry," Dissertation Abstracts
International 32 (1972): 4577A-78A.
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