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THE SECOND EDITION.
THE first edition of a work of this kind is almost nécessarily imperfect; since the editor is commonly dependent for a great deal of the required information upon sources the very existence of which is unknown to him till reminiscences are revived, and communications invited, by the announcement or publication of the book. Some valuable contributions reached me too late to be properly placed or effectively worked up; some, too late to be included at all. The arrangement in this edition will therefore, I trust, be found less faulty than in the first, whilst the additions are large and valuable. They principally consist of fresh extracts from Mrs. Piozzi's private diary (“Thraliana”), amounting to more than fifty pages; of additional marginal notes on books, and of copious extracts from letters hitherto unpublished.
Amongst the effects of her friend Conway, the actor, after his untimely death by drowning in North America, were a copy of Mrs. Piozzi's “ Travel Book” and a copy of Johnson's “ Lives of the Poets,” each enriched by marginal notes in her handwriting. Such of those in the “Travel Book” as were thought worth printing appeared in “The Atlantic Monthly” for June last, from which I have taken the liberty of copying the best. The “ Lives of the Poets” is now the property of Mr. William Alexander Smith, of New York, who was so kind as to open a communication with me on the subject, and to have the whole of the marginal notes transcribed for my use at his expense.
Animated by the same liberal wish to promote a literary undertaking, Mr. J. E. Gray, son of the Rev. Dr. Robert Gray, late Bishop of Bristol, has placed at my disposal a series of letters from Mrs. Piozzi to his father, extending over nearly twenty-five years (from 1797 to the year of her death) and exceeding a hundred in number. These have been of the greatest service in enabling me to complete and verify the summary of that period of her life.
So much light is thrown by the new matter, es