The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Lady Catherine Herries (née Foote) to Mary Hamilton

Herries (née Foote), Catherine

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Lady Catherine Herries to Mary Hamilton. She complains that Hamilton has written little of herself in her last letter although the little she has done is good. She hopes for more details of Hamilton's health shortly. The letter continues in detail on the subject of books that she and Hamilton have read and on receiving letters from Hamilton which Herries describes as 'the living picture of your thoughts & feelings'. Herries is critical of the author of [unnamed but possibly William Hayley's <i>A Philosophical, Historical, and Moral Essay on Old Maids</i>], Volume 1, (1785) and of his dedicating the book to Elizabeth Carter. She wonders if he has done so in ridicule and she is 'out of patience with the author's assurance in dedicating it' to her. She writes that Mrs Carter herself has said that she is unsure as to the meaning of the dedication. Carter notes that 'if ridicule I think it will not answer, I flatter myself I shall stand in the same place'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries moves on with news of herself, her relations and friends. She writes of taking the waters at Tunbridge Wells, noting also that Lord Mansfield is still here although she rarely sees him as his health is very poor. She also writes on society at Tunbridge Wells, on Mrs Vesey, Mrs Handcock, Lord Stormont, Lady Bristol and Miss Bowdler, a new acquaintance who she feels is a 'real acquisition' [Possibly Rachel Bowdler (c.1747-1835). I had initially believed Miss Bowdler was Rachel's sister, Henrietta Maria Bowdler, known as Harriet (1754-1830), author and poet, but in HAM/1/17/250 Herries refers to Miss Bowdler's sister, Harriet. Harriet and her brother Thomas published the <i>Family Shakespeare</i>, removing the words that they did not deem suitable to be read aloud to a family].</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Tunbridge Wells, [Kent].</p>

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