Hannah More at the Clark

Published: June 3, 2013

If you missed the flash exhibition on campus, here’s a second chance to see:

The Life & Times of Hannah More: Author, Reformist & Philanthropist

Curated by Daniella Aquino

at The William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

On view (by appointment only!) during summer 2013

From the curator:

Over the past year, I have worked with both the manuscript and print materials from the Clark Library’s Hannah More Collection. During the first half of my internship, I created a finding aid for the manuscript materials, which included letters to and from Hannah More, letters from her contemporaries, diaries, portraits, and various other visual materials. The collection was relatively small, so I described the materials at the item level. I became familiar with every item in the collection, and I enjoyed the research involved in the process.  These materials gave me an inside perspective of Hannah More’s life. She is often remembered as a strict moral reformist, but her letters and diaries reveal her friendly and witty nature. She was wildly popular in her time, and was always surrounded by friends. She moved in the most prominent intellectual circles, and her strong friendships played important roles in her life.

For my final project, I designed an exhibit to showcase some of the most personal and interesting pieces in the collection. More is recognized for her literary contributions, but I wanted to convey the personal side of her experiences. For example, the display includes a first edition of Sir Eldred of the Bower, one of More’s early works. The book was dedicated to her dear friend, the famous actor David Garrick.  Alongside the book is a manuscript poem written by Garrick. The poem was written in praise of Sir Eldred, and reveals the great friendship shared by Garrick and More. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with this collection, and I encourage users to view the exhibit and learn more about this extraordinary and prolific woman.

For more information, I highly recommend Women, Morality & Advice Literature: Manuscripts and Rare Printed Works of Hannah More (1745-1833) and her Circle from the Clark Library, Los Angeles, edited by Professor Patricia Demers, Professor Anne Mellor, and Janice Devereux, 2005. This book has been extremely useful throughout my research, and is referenced extensively in the finding aid and catalog records for the collection.

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