Mary Hays Correspondence 


During this decade, Hays's correspondence with Fenwick continues, with Fenwick moving from London to Ireland and back, always enmeshed in financial difficulties caused by John Fenwick's alcoholism and inability to find steady and productive work. Letters from three other friends from the 1790s,  William Tooke, Mary Brown, and Mary Reid, can also be found in the list below. Probably the most important new addition to Hays's correspondence is her deepening friendship with Henry Crabb Robinson, who meets her in 1799 and commences a friendship and correspondence that persists until her death in 1843, one of the most lasting and telling friendships of her life. Some correspondence with other literary figures, such as  Robert Southey, John Aikin, and Charlotte Smith, as survived, as well as some very important family letters, especially those of her sister Elizabeth Hays, who married Ambrose Lanfear in 1804, and her brother-in-law John Dunkin (1753-1827), in many respects her guardian since his marriage to her older sister, Joanna (1754-1805), in 1774, the year Mary Hays's father, John Hays, died. No letters from 1809 exist.

To view complete transcriptions of the letters from this decade, click on the appropriate year below: