- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: September 2012
- Print publication year: 2011
- First published in: 1861
- Online ISBN: 9781139105255
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139105255
Mary Delany (née Granville, 1700–88) is best known for her cut-paper illustrations of plants - she completed nearly 1,000 of these detailed botanical pictures. Widowed after an unhappy first marriage, she lived in London, attended court, and was a favourite of George III and Queen Charlotte. After being widowed for a second time, and at the age of 74, she began her plant illustrations: failing eyesight caused her to abandon the work in 1784. Delany knew many of the leading cultural figures of the eighteenth century, including Handel and Swift. An enthusiastic correspondent, she wrote and received hundreds of letters, which were edited by her great-great-niece, Lady Llanover (1802–96). Published in 1861–2, they tell the life story of this remarkable woman, while also providing a fascinating glimpse into the world of Georgian England. Volume 1 begins with an unfinished autobiography and continues with correspondence from 1717 to 1737.
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