THRALE, Hester Lynch (1741-1821, Mrs Piozzi from 1784) -- BIBLE, in English. Old and New Testaments and the Apocrypha, edited by Thomas Wilson. Bath: Crutwell, 1785. 3 volumes, 2° (330 x 260mm). Contemporary calf (extensively restored, new endpapers), black morocco slipcases. Provenance: Hester Lynch Thrale, later Mrs. Piozzi (her signature, dated Brynbella 8 May 1801, on front free endpaper of each volume; marginal annotations, most in her hand, throughout, some signed with initials) -- Sir John Salusbury Piozzi (bookplate).
STACKHOUSE, Thomas (1677-1752). A New History of the Holy Bible. London: Hinton, 1752. 2 volumes, 2° (375 x 249mm). Title in red and black. Engraved portrait frontispiece and 101 plates, engraved vignettes. Contemporary calf (rebacked and recornered), brown cloth box. Provenance: Peter Brooke (ownership signature in both volumes) -- Gabriel Piozzi (ownership signature on front blank of volume 1) -- Hester Lynch Thrale, later Mrs Piozzi (extensive annotations in her hand) -- Sold by Mr. Broster, Manchester, September 18th 1823, lot 400 for £1 and 15 shillings to Mr. Bent[ley].
HESTER LYNCH THRALE'S BIBLE WITH AN ANECDOTE ON SAMUEL JOHNSON. These volumes are testimony to Mrs. Thrale's well-known habit of annotating her reading: "I have a Trick of writing in the Margins of my Books, it is not a good Trick, but one longs to say something & cannot stop to take out the Thraliana" (Thraliana, vol. II, p. 780). The annotations in the Bible range in date from 1801 to about 1818. They show the familiarity with Greek, Latin and Hebrew which Johnson admired, and express firmly held religious and political beliefs, reflecting broader opinions in society at the time in their Francophobia, and almost pathological anti-Catholicism. Mrs. Thrale also shows marked cabalistic and millenialist tendencies, equating Bonaparte with 'The Beast-666' and making several attempted calculations of the end of the world, predicted either in the late 19th century or at the millenium. Etymology, an interest she pursued in her unpublished 'Lyford Redivius', is another 'hobby horse'. The fine anecdote on Samuel Johnson occurs in volume III of the Bible (Uuu4 verso): "I remember when a wretched creature expired at Streatham whom we called Grinning Jack; I said to Dr. Johnson Well Sir! if Heaven consists in mere Intellectual felicity ... what will this poor Soul enjoy of it? whose intellects were so confined - - - Oh replied he Madam ... Grinning Jack will improve": These were his very Words -- to me or to the Children.' (5)