Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs Delany: With Interesting Reminiscences of King George the Third and Queen Charlotte

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Mary Delany (nee Granville, 1700-88) is best known for her cut-paper illustrations of plants - she completed nearly 1,000 of these 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 them 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 4 covers a difficult period in her life, 1761-74, during which she was again widowed.