Berry, Mary, 1763-1852
Letters : M. Berry … 1846-1850.
Holograph of a collection of notes and personal memoranda. The volume begins with a description of a dream, dated August 1840, in which she imagines she is with child, from which she awakes in tears, recalling that she has never possessed either husband or child, and has long survived that “Friend” who had been such a comfort to her. Following this recollection and dated 9 May 1842, she reminisces about her past vigor of body and mind, including extraordinary sense of sight and hearing, and notes how these senses are diminishing with age; she also mentions her quickness of mind which was nurtured by those to whom she was devoted. The volume concludes with a brief essay titled The apocalypse, which analyzes the Book of Revelation.
Mary Berry (1763-1852), author, was born at Stanwick, Yorkshire. She and her sister Agnes began a close friendship with Horace Walpole in 1788, who spoke of them as his “twin wives.” He established the sisters at Teddington, in 1789, and two years later offered them the use of his own secondary residence, Little Strawberry Hill. Berry became engaged to General Charles O’Hara (c.1740-1802) about October 1795, though the couple separated in 1796. In 1824 the sisters took up residence in Curzon Street, where they established a salon frequented by many prominent figures in society; Berry’s acquaintances included William Thackeray, Maria Edgeworth, and Madame de Staël. Her literary productions include the comedy Fashionable Friends; A comparative view of the social life of England and France from the Restoration of Charles the Second to the French Revolution (1828) and its sequel Social Life in England and France from the French Revolution in 1789 to that of July 1830 (1831); and an edition of the Works of Horace Walpole (1798).
Subjects (Library of Congress): Berry, Mary, 1763-1852; Bible. N.T. Revelation–Commentaries; Dreams; Women authors, English–18th century.
Lewis Walpole Library new acquisition: July, 2010