This project has been made possible partially through a Summer Research Fellowship at the New York Public Library in June 2016, in which images of letters by Hays, Godwin, Wollstonecraft, Fenwick, and others were taken with the gracious assistance of Dr. Elizabeth Campbell Denlinger, Curator, and Charles Cuykendall Carter, Assistant Curator, at the Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations. My thanks as well to the staff of the New York Historical Society Library, New York City, for allowing me to image and publish the letters of Eliza Fenwick, a collection not widely known. I also wish to thank the Bodleian Library, Oxford, for granting me access to the Abinger Collection for materials pertaining to Hays, Godwin, Wollstonecraft, and Amelia Alderson. My thanks as well to the following libraries that have provided access to new letters to or from Mary Hays not previously collected by Marilyn Brooks in her edition of Hays's letters in 2004: University of Kentucky Library, Lexington, Kentucky; Pennsylvania Historical Library, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and the British Library, London.
Information about Mary Hays's family and her activities within the Godwin circle has been significantly expanded in recent years by the online publication of The Diary of William Godwin, (eds) Victoria Myers, David O'Shaughnessy, and Mark Philp (Oxford: Oxford Digital Library, 2010) (http://godwindiary.bodleian.ox.ac.uk), from which references to Hays are included in this site. Even more information on Hays has been unearthed since 2010 in Crabb Robinson's Diary, Reminiscences and Correspondence through the research of Timothy Whelan, also included on this site. My thanks to Dr. David Wykes, Director of Dr. Williams’s Library, and the Trustees of the Library, for permission to quote from the Diaries, Reminiscences, and Correspondence of Henry Crabb Robinson, and the collection of letters pertaining to Mary Hays left to the library by A. F. Wedd, several of which were not included in Brooks's edition. A special notice must be made to the important work of Ed Pope and his invaluable online resource, Ed Pope History (http://edpopehistory.co.uk), which provides students and scholars with access to information on some 3000 individuals in and around London between 1780-1810, a resource often consulted in this site and with my work on Henry Crabb Robinson. Special thanks must also go to Julie Clulow, whose extensive research on Samuel Palmer was instrumental in the discovery of the marriage of Marianna Hays and Edward Palmer, without which the other pieces in her life and that of Mary Hays would still be incomplete. I also wish to thank the staff at the Angus Library, Regent’s Park College, Oxford, for access to various Baptist church books relating to Southwark and London during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. A special note of thanks, however, must go to the staffs of the following Local Studies Libraries in the Greater London area, whose primary resources, especially rate books and church records, have been of inestimable value to my work on Mary Hays: Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Greenwich, Islington, Camden, and Hackney. My thanks as well to the Bristol Record Office, Bristol; the Essex Record Office, Chelmsford; and the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, University of London. I am also indebted to two graduate students at Georgia Southern University, Breanna Harris and Jessica Branton, for their assistance in typing various portions of the letters and other documents on the site.
And finally, I wish to thank Prof. Gina Luria Walker of the New School, New York, for her assistance and encouragement and stimulating lunches at the Harvard Club in New York City discussing the life of Mary Hays and our ongoing efforts to reconstruct models of women's biography, a project close to the heart of Mary Hays herself. Without Walker's ground-breaking work in uncovering in London the collection of letters by Hays once belonging to A. F. Wedd and used by her in her Love Letters of Mary Hays (1925), it is unlikely those letters would ever have made their way to the Pforzheimer Collection at NYPL. My thanks also to Marilyn Gaull, Editorial Institute, Boston University, editor of The Wordsworth Circle, and general editor of the Palgrave series Nineteenth Century Lives, who was the first scholar to encourage my work with women writers from the Romantic era, and to whom I am eternally grateful. And finally, to Prof. J. C. C. Mays, whose impressive volume, Coleridge's Father: Absent Man, Guardian Spirit, I reviewed for the Coleridge Bulletin in 2016 and which, in its expansive use of genealogy and informal sources such as manuscripts, public records, annotated books and subscription lists, inspired me to seek beyond the usual printed sources as a means of uncovering the life of Mary Hays.
Dr. Timothy Whelan