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Hester Thrale Piozzi, devoted friend of Samuel Johnson, has a permanent place in English literary and cultural history, for her diaries and letters have illuminated the life of the British upper-middle class in the 18th century. Mrs Hyde has now edited a hitherto unpublished journal, centering around the 12 children that Hester bore to her first husband, Henry Thrale. Only four of the children lived to maturity. The journal itself, relatively brief, has only intermittent entries, but Mrs Hyde, skillfully using other sources, has woven these entries into a continuous fabric. She has provided a narrative account that focuses on family life, with special reference to the birth, development, illnesses, education, personality, and activities of the children. These aspects fit admirably into a well-organized picture that reveals the emotional and personal relationships, the business affairs, friendships and enmities, strains of daily living, and social milieu, and through it all bears
King LS. The Thrales of Streatham Park. JAMA. 1978;240(1):62. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290010066036
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