The correspondence between Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi and a less well-known member of the Burney clan, Frances Burney’s niece Marianne Francis, is remarkable because it reveals how an ambitious young woman struggled to overcome the prejudices against learning in women at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Marianne profited from the older woman’s superior knowledge, Bluestocking experience, and personal encouragement, but ultimately chose another path altogether, that of Evangelical reforms, moving on into the circles of Arthur Young, whom she assisted as a secretary, and William Wilberforce, whose son she taught Latin. Besides Marianne’s increasingly gloomy evangelical introspection, the letters are also of interest in tracing the movements of the Burney family after 1807, since Marianne kept up her friend with the whereabouts of her former friends, and even tried to bring about a reconciliation with Frances Burney, now Mme d’Arblay, in 1814.
Research Article|April 01 2018
Mascha Hansen; A Bluestocking Friendship: The Correspondence between Marianne Francis and Hester Lynch Piozzi. Eighteenth-Century Life 1 April 2018; 42 (2): 170–186. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00982601-4384615
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