Portraits, 1806.


Portraits, 1806.

Manuscript, in a single hand, of brief biographies describing the upbringing, appearance, marriages, and social and intellectual acumens of Mary, Lady Hervey; Henrietta Jane Speed, Countess de Viry; the Marchioness de Cercello; and Elizabeth Chudleigh, Countess of Bristol and Duchess of Kingston. The writer mentions Mary Hervey's attractive appearance, the pieces Alexander Pope and John Gay wrote about her, and Horace Walpole's dedication to her of his Anecdotes of Painting. Though she writes critically of Hervey's partiality to France, she commends her social acuity. The writer declares that the wit of Henrietta Jane Speed overcame her want of literary knowledge; mentions the political intrigue at Turin in which she was engaged; and notes her death by apoplexy. The entry for the Marchioness de Cercello explains the unworthiness of her first husband as opposed to the generosity of her second, the Marquis de Cercello, ambassador from Naples to Versailles and minister plenipotentiary to England; praises her beauty, eloquence, and intelligence; and announces that any Italian, French, or Englishman will declare her the most engaging woman he ever knew. The volume concludes with a disparaging description of Elizabeth Chudleigh, listing her amorous conquests, her penchant for lying, and her love of expense, though concluding with praise for her physical beauty.

1 v. (28 leaves) ; 24 cm.


SNAC Resource ID: 8026324

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