Portrait of Hester Thrale and her daughter Hester

Hester Lynch Thrale, née Hester Lynch Salusbury, (January 16, 1741May 2, 1821) was a British diarist, author, and patron of the arts, and a friend and biographer of Dr. Johnson. She is often known by her second married name, Hester Lynch Piozzi.


  • 'Tis never for their wisdom that one loves the wisest, or for their wit that one loves the wittiest; 'tis for benevolence, and virtue, and honest fondness, one loves people; the other qualities make one proud of loving them too.
    • Letter to Fanny Burney; Charlotte Barrett (ed.) Diary and Letters of Madame d'Arblay (1854) vol. 2, p. 3.
  • A physician can sometimes parry the scythe of death, but has no power over the sand in the hourglass.
    • Letter to Fanny Burney, November 12, 1781; Charlotte Barrett (ed.) Diary and Letters of Madame d'Arblay (1854) vol. 2, p. 82.
  • Women bear Crosses better than Men do, but bear Surprizes – worse.
    • Letter to Sir James Fellowes, November 6, 1817; The Piozzi Letters: Correspondence of Hester Lynch Piozzi, 1784-1821 (2002) vol. 6, p. 130.
  • The tree of deepest root is found
    Least willing still to quit the ground;
    'Twas therefore said by ancient sages,
    That love of life increased with years.
    So much, that in our latter stages,
    When pains grow sharp and sickness rages,
    The greatest love of life appears.
    • "Three Warnings", line 1, in Abraham Hayward (ed.) Autobiography, Letters, and Literary Remains of Mrs. Piozzi (Thrale) (1861) vol. 2, p. 165.
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