EMCO is very pleased to announce the publication of Professor Michael Franklin’s Writers of Wales: Hester Thrale Piozzi in March 2020, through the University of Wales Press Writers of Wales series, A series of critical introductions to the life and work of writers from Wales.
This is the first biography to foreground the importance of Hester Lynch Piozzi’s Welsh heritage throughout her long life. Born in an obscure Caernarvonshire plwyf, the salonnière of Streatham was finally laid to rest in Tremeirchion church in the Vale of Clwyd. It has been observed how infrequently eighteenth- century Welsh writers long resident in England continued to identify strongly with their homeland, but Hester was mortified at the failure of her brewer husband Henry Thrale, and of her mentor Dr Samuel Johnson, to appreciate the beauties of Wales. Her second husband, however, musician Gabriel Piozzi, was so enamoured that he proposed residing there. A newly-found confidence inspired Hester to write in middle-age, and her daringly personal biography (1786) and edition of Johnson’s letters (1788) were runaway bestsellers. Her travel book (1789), recounting her love affair with her husband’s homeland in Italy, whose landscape reminded her so much of Wales, engaged the reader for the first time as an intimate acquaintance.
For more information, please see the University of Wales Press website here.