The Gentle Hertford: Her Life and Letters

The Gentle Hertford: Her Life and Letters

The Gentle Hertford: Her Life and Letters

The Gentle Hertford: Her Life and Letters

Excerpt

The life of the Countess of Hertford is here presented, for the most part in her own letters and those of her friends, in a fragmentary journal which she kept at the time of a family emergency, in her commonplace-books, and in the quaint memoir of a member of her household. In these documents we find the story of a noble lady,--"gentle" in every sense of the wordwhose life touched those of many interesting and eminent persons, and whose natural tastes directed her attention to forwardlooking movements of her day. She admits us, moreover, to the intimate circle of an eighteenth-century family whose mutual affection and good-breeding belie the calumnies of contemporary novelists.

In recalling the many kindnesses which have assisted the preparation of this volume, I would mention first, in grateful recollection, the eighth Duke of Northumberland, who allowed me access to the manuscripts at Alnwick Castle, and who courteously aided my investigations. To her Grace, the Duchess of Northumberland and to the late Duke I am indebted also for permission to carry my work to completion, and to publish certain family portraits among my illustrations. My thanks are due, likewise, to the Lord and Lady Leconfield, who so kindly allowed me to reproduce portraits from the Petworth collection. For other illustrations I am indebted to the courtesy of the British Museum, the Worcester (Mass.) Art Museum, and the Wellesley College Library.

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