Hester Maria "Queeney" Thrale

  • Posted on: 20 September 2009
  • By: David Thrale

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I am a fifth year student of English Language and Literature at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands and I am writing my thesis about epistolary formulas in the letters addressed to Hester Maria Thrale, better known as Queeney.

Epistolary formulas are the way that Queeney and her correspondents began their letters to each other (Dear Sir/ Madam etc.) [opening formulas] and how they ended them. e.g., a variant of Your (most) obedient humble servant [closing formulas].

For my research I am not only interested in Queeney's correspondents (I have a copy of The Queeney Letters and Johnson and Queeney both edited by the Marquis of Lansdowne), but also in the letters which she wrote herself and which unfortunately have never been published.

I have already been in touch with the John Rylands Library in Manchester which has a number of her letters. Do you know any other libraries who still have letters of her? (I have already found out about the letters written by Queeney to Fanny Burney which are in the British Library).

Karlijn Navest

David Thrale's picture

Firstly I should warn you that I am not a scholar of 18th century English. My interest is as a very amateur family historian. I have a few books on the subject and have read round the subject. There are other scholars who will no doubt know more. I'll try and mention these as you may like to contact them for a more knowledgeable reply!!

Mary Hyde's book The Thrales of Streatham Park mentions that letters from Queeney are kept at Bowood. Also the Hyde Collection in Somerville New Jersey has lots of original manuscripts.

You might also try the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth who have the K M Evans Thrale-Piozzi-Salusbury papers.

Finally try contacting Jack Lynch Assistant Professor of English.

I'm sure that the British Library will be able to give you some good information about locating original manuscripts.

Good luck!

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