Mary Hays and Mr. Palmer: How an Enigmatic Address Unravelled

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Date / time
Date(s) - 20 March
5:15 pm - 6:45 pm

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Timothy Whelan, ‘Mary Hays and Mr. Palmer: How an Enigmatic Address Unravelled’

Mary Hays (1759-1843), the 1790s radical feminist novelist, left her family in 1795 to live in Kirby Street near her friends William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. Her time in Kirby Street was interrupted by a year-long stay in the home of a Mr. Palmer in nearby Little John Street, a most odd situation for a single woman at that time. Mr. Palmer, however, was neither single nor a stranger to Hays. The uncovering of his identity has led to significant alterations in what we know of Hays’s family, her activities in the fall of 1797, and her heretofore unknown connection to the artist Samuel Palmer (1805-81).

Location: The Lecture Hall, Dr Williams Library, 14 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AR