Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Thrale



An illustrated presentation by actress Karin Fernald
On the friendship between Mrs. Hester Thrale of Streatham Park and Dr. Samuel Johnson
In l765 Samuel Johnson, aged 56, ill, lonely, living off Fleet Street among quarrelling dependants, was introduced to a wealthy brewer, Henry Thrale, and his witty and talented young Welsh-born wife Hester. Their friendship would last l8 years.For Johnson it provided comforting hospitality, feminine companionship and an enjoyment of famiy life. To Hester it brought great stimulus, as she found herself the recipient of Johnson’s views on life, literature and the arts. She responded with plenty of her own.When Thrale died and Hester married an Italian musician, Gabriel Piozzi, Johnson never forgave her. “When I meet with one of her letters I burn it”

With paintings, portraits and caricatures by Hogarth, Rowlandson, Reynolds, Richard Wilson, Francis Hayman and George Morland.


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please contact: Karin Fernald directly from this page