Mrs Delany A Life Clarissa Campbell Orr

Publication date:
30 Jul 2019
Yale University Press
448 pages: 235 x 156mm
50 color illus.

The first comprehensive biography of Mary Granville Delany—the artist and court insider whose wide-ranging legacy still reverberates today

​Mary Granville Delany is best remembered for her paper collages of flora, the majority of which are at the British Museum. This captivating new biography pulls back the lens to place Delany’s artistic creations in the broader context of her family life, relationships with royalty, and links to early feminist debates on marriage.
A comprehensive work written for a general audience, this life provides rich details of the era, including Delany’s many friendships with prominent figures such as Methodist leader John Wesley, composer G. F. Handel, and England’s leading patron of science, Margaret 2nd Duchess of Portland. Clarissa Campbell Orr is a noted authority on the eighteenth-century court and queenship, and this volume restores Delany to her proper place in the era’s aristocratic society, revealing her as far more than an apparently poor, genteel widow befriended by George III and Queen Charlotte.

Clarissa Campbell Orr is a visiting research fellow at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham. She is the author of, or editor of and contributor to, numerous essays and anthologies, including Queenship in Europe 1650–1789 and Queenship in Britain 1660–1837.