Speaking with/of the Dead: Hester Thrale Piozzi and Swift

In: Reading Swift
Kirsten Juhas
Search for other papers by Kirsten Juhas in
Current site
Google Scholar
Mascha Hansen Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster Universität Greifswald

Search for other papers by Mascha Hansen in
Current site
Google Scholar

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):


The work of the prolific writer, diarist, and salonnière Hester Lynch Piozzi (1741-1821), also known by her first husband’s name as ‘Mrs Thrale’ and as Samuel Johnson’s close friend and hostess, is no exception to the phenomenon described by Margaret Anne Doody that “much … written by Englishwomen during the middle and later eighteenth century exhibits an awareness of Swift and a sense of his importance as a model.” In addition to searching and securing traces of Swift in Thrale Piozzi’s library and reading, this essay focuses on “Three Dialogues on the Death of Hester Lynch Thrale” (written in August 1779), a witty homage to the Dean’s Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift. In the three true-to-life dialogues between the members of her Streatham circle, Thrale Piozzi skilfully amalgamates her admired predecessor’s tone and content with the Dialogues of the Dead genre, much in fashion at the time, paradoxically creating an (authorial) presence in her own absence.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

Reading Swift

Papers from The Seventh Münster Symposium on Jonathan Swift


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 450 79 3
Full Text Views 3 2 0
PDF Views & Downloads 1 0 0