A number of sources have named Damer as being involved in lesbian relationships, particularly relating to her close friendship with Mary Berry, to whom she had been introduced by Walpole in 1789. Even during her marriage, her likings for male clothing and demonstrative friendships with other women were publicly noted and satirised by hostile commentators such as Hester Thrale and in the anonymous pamphlet A Sapphick Epistle from Jack Cavendish to the Honourable and most Beautiful, Mrs D— (c.1770).
A romance between Damer and Elizabeth Farren, who was mentioned by Thrale, is the central storyline in the 2004 novel Life Mask by Emma Donoghue.
Anne Conway was born in Sevenoaks into an aristocratic Whig family; she was the only daughter of Field-Marshal Henry Seymour Conway (1721–1795) and his wife Caroline Bruce, born Campbell, Lady Ailesbury (1721–1803), and was brought up at the family home at Park Place, Remenham, Berkshire.
Statue of Anne Seymour Damer, by Giuseppe Ceracchi
Anne Seymour Damer was an English sculptor. In 1802, while the Treaty of Amiens was in effect, she visited Paris with the author Mary Berry and was granted an audience with Napoleon. A number of sources have named Damer as being involved in lesbian relationships, particularly relating to her close friendship with Mary Berry, to whom she had been introduced by Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Oxford in 1789. Walpole will leave his London villa, Strawberry Hill, to Anne, Mary and Mary’s sister, Agnes.
In 1767 she married John Damer, the son of Lord Milton, later the 1st Earl of Dorchester. The couple received an income of £5,000 from Lord Milton, and were left large fortunes by Milton and Henry Conway. They separated after seven years, and he committed suicide in 1776, leaving considerable debts. Her artistic career developed during her widowhood.
Anne was a frequent visitor to Europe. During one voyage she was captured by a privateer, but released unharmed in Jersey. She visited Sir Horace Mann in Florence, and Sir William Hamilton in Naples, where she was introduced to Lord Nelson. In 1802, while the Treaty of Amiens was in effect, she visited Paris with the author Mary Berry and was granted an audience with Napoleon.
From 1818, Anne Damer lived at York House, Twickenham. She died, aged 79, in 1828 at her London house in Grosvenor Square, and is buried in the church at Sundridge, Kent, along with her sculptor's tools and apron and the ashes of her favourite dog.
The development of Anne Seymour Damer's interest in sculpture is credited to David Hume (who served as Under-Secretary when her father was Secretary of State, 1766–68) and to the encouragement of Horace Walpole, who was her guardian during her parents' frequent trips abroad. According to Walpole, her training included lessons in modelling from Giuseppe Ceracchi, in marble carving from John Bacon, and in anatomy from William Cumberland Cruikshank.
During the period 1784–1818, Damer exhibited 32 works as an honorary exhibitor at the Royal Academy. Her work, primarily busts in Neoclassical style, developed from early wax sculptures to technically complex ones in works in terracotta, bronze, and marble. Her subjects, largely drawn from friends and colleagues in Whig circles, included Lady Melbourne, Nelson, Joseph Banks, George III, Mary Berry, Charles James Fox and herself. She executed several actors' portraits, such as the busts of her friends Sarah Siddons and Elizabeth Farren (as the Muses Melpomene and Thalia).
She produced keystone sculptures of Isis and Tamesis for each side of the central arch on the bridge at Henley-on-Thames. The original models are in the Henley Gallery of the River and Rowing Museum nearby. Another major architectural work was her 10-foot statue of Apollo, now destroyed, for the frontage of Drury Lane theatre. She also created two bas reliefs for the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery of scenes from Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.
Damer was also a writer, with one published novel, Belmour (first published on 1801).
Elizabeth Farren (c. 1759 – 23 April 1829) was an English actress of the late 18th century. (©Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769–1830)/The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Elizabeth Farren, before 1791 (©4))
Elizabeth (sometimes Eliza) Farren was the daughter of George Farren of Cork, Ireland, a surgeon and apothecary, later an actor, and his wife (née Wright) of Liverpool, the daughter of a publican or brewer. At a very early age Farren performed at Bath and elsewhere in juvenile parts. In 1774 she was acting with her mother and sisters at Wakefield under Tate Wilkinson’s opponent, Whiteley, when she played Columbine and sang. At the age of fifteen, at Liverpool, she played Rosetta in Love in a Village and subsequently her best known role of Lady Townly in The Provoked Husband by Colley Cibber.
Her first London appearance was in 1777 as Miss Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer, and subsequent successes established her reputation. The Shakespearean parts of Hermione, Portia, Olivia and Juliet were in her repertory, but comedy parts such as Lady Betty Modish, Lady Townly, Lady Fanciful and Lady Teazle were her favorites.
She was introduced by Younger, her Liverpool manager, to George Colman and made her first appearance in London at the Haymarket on 9 June 1777, playing Miss Hardcastle. Her performance was favourably received, and, after playing Maria in Murphy’s Citizen, Rosetta, and Miss Tittup in Garrick's Bon Ton, she was cast as Rosina in the Spanish Barber, or the Useless Precaution, his adaptation from Beaumarchais' The Barber of Seville. She also spoke the epilogue to the play. On 11 July 1778 she was the original Nancy Lovel in Colman's Suicide. This was a "breeches" part, to which her figure was unsuited, and she was subjected to some satire for shapelessness. Performances as Lady Townly, and Lady Fanciful in the Provoked Wife restored her to public favour.
©Anne Seymour Damer (1749-1828)/NPG 4469. Elizabeth (nee Farren), Countess of Derby, ca. 1788 (©4)
Elizabeth Farren was an English actress of the late 18th century. On May 1, 1797 she married Edward Smith-Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby (1752–1834). A life-size portrait of her by Sir Thomas Lawrence, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was shown at the Royal Academy annual exhibition in 1790. A romance between Damer and Elizabeth Farren, who was mentioned by Hester Thrale, is the central storyline in the 2004 novel Life Mask by Emma Donoghue.
In September 1778 she made her first appearance at Drury Lane, as Charlotte Rusport in the West Indian. She performed primarily at this theatre (where she was the successor to Frances Abington when the latter left in 1782) or at the Haymarket for the rest of her stage career, with occasional performances in the provinces and at Covent Garden. She had over 100 characters in her repertoire, including Berinthia in Sheridan's Trip to Scarborough, Belinda in Murphy's All in the Wrong, Angelica in Love for Love, Elvira in Spanish Friar, Hermione in the Winter's Tale, Olivia in Twelfth Night, Portia, Lydia Languish, Millamant in The Way of the World, Statira, Juliet, and Lady Betty Modish. She "created" few original parts: Lady Sash in the Camp, assigned to Sheridan, Drury Lane, 15 Oct. 1778; Mrs Sullen in Colman's Separate Maintenance, Drury Lane, 31 Aug. 1779; Cecilia in Miss Lee's Chapter of Accidents, Haymarket, 5 Aug. 1780; Almeida in Pratt's Fair Circassian, 27 Nov. 1781; and the heroines of various comedies and dramas of Mrs. Cowley, Mrs. Inchbald, General Burgoyne, Miles Peter Andrews, and of other writers. The last original part she played was the heroine of Holcroft's Force of Ridicule, 6 Dec. 1796, which was unfavourably received on its first night and remains unprinted. On her last appearance, 8 April 1797, she played Lady Teazle; a large audience was attracted, and Farren, after speaking the farewell lines of her part, burst into tears.
Farren had a slight figure and was above average height. Her face was expressive and animated, she had blue eyes, a winning smile, and a sweet, cultivated voice. In manner and bearing she appears to have had no rival except Frances Abington, with whom she was often compared.
On 1 May 1797 she married Edward Smith-Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby (1752–1834) by whom she had a son and two daughters. She died on 23 April 1829 at Knowsley Park, Lancashire.
She had a short sentimental attachment to John Palmer and was admired and followed by Charles Fox. Lord Derby reportedly treated her with more respect than was sometimes given to ex-actresses. Hazlitt speaks of "Miss Farren, with her fine-lady airs and graces, with that elegant turn of her head and motion of her fan and tripping of her tongue" (Criticisms and Dramatic Essays, 1851, p. 49). Richard Cumberland (Memoirs, ii. 236) mentions her style as "exquisite." George Colman the younger (Random Recollections, 1. 251) says of "the lovely and accomplished Miss Farren" that "No person ever more successfully performed the elegant levies of Lady Townly." Tate Wilkinson credits her with "infinite merit" (Wandering Patentee, iii. 42). Boaden (Life of Siddons, ii. 318) says that after her retirement comedy degenerated into farce. Horace Walpole spoke of her as the most perfect actress he had ever seen, and Mrs. Siddons, on the day of Farren’s marriage, commiserated the loss of "our comic muse."
Farren reportedly had an affair with Anne Seymour Damer.
A life-size portrait of her by Sir Thomas Lawrence, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was shown at the Royal Academy annual exhibition in 1790. Another portrait of her was in the Mathews collection in the Garrick Club c.1900.
Mary Berry (March 16, 1763 – November 20, 1852) was an English non-fiction writer born in Kirkbridge, North Yorkshire. She is best known for her letters and journals, namely Social Life in England and France from the French Revolution, published in 1831, and Journals and Correspondence, published after her death in 1865. Berry became notable through her association with close friend Horace Walpole, whose literary collection she inherited along with her sister and father.
Berry was born in Kirkbridge, Yorkshire on March 16, 1763. Her younger sister Agnes, who proved to be her closest confidant during Berry’s life, was born fourteen months late on May 29, 1764.
Their father, Robert Berry, was the nephew of a successful Scottish merchant named Ferguson. Robert Berry received £300,000 at the middle of his life and bought an estate at Raith in Fifeshire. Robert, the older son of Ferguson's sister, began working at his uncle's counting-house in Broad Street, Austin Friars. In 1762, he married his distant cousin, Miss Seaton. After giving birth to Mary and Agnes, their mother died in 1767 at 23-years-old in the childbirth of their third child, who also died.
Following their mother's death, the two girls were cared for by their grandmother, Mrs. Seaton, at Askham in Yorkshire. They were moved to the College House in Chiswick in 1770. After their governess at Chiswick married in 1776, the two girls were self-educated. Their religious instruction consisted of Mary reading aloud a Psalm to her grandmother every morning and one of the Saturday papers from the Spectator every Sunday.
©Anne Seymour Damer (1749-1828)/NPG 6395. Mary Berry, 1793 (©4)
In 1781, the uncle, Mr. Ferguson, died at 93. He left money to both Robert and his younger brother, William. In 1783, Robert Berry and his two young daughters traveled abroad to Holland, Switzerland and Italy. Mary acted as a protecting mother to her sister and a guide and monitor to her father.
Mary Berry began writing Journals and Correspondence while in Florence in 1783, though she would not complete the writing until 70 years later. After a long stay in Italy, her tour was completed by a return home through France to England in June 1786.
Mary and Agnes first met Horace Walpole, who was already more than 70-years-old, in the winter of 1788. A letter he wrote in October 1788 related how, “he had just then willingly yielded himself up to their witcheries on meeting them at the house of his friend Lady Herries, wife of the banker in St. James's Street.”
Walpole developed a deep care for the two girls, lavishing them with endearments and compliments. He wrote books solely for their pleasure and dedicated other writings to them. He likewise encourages them to move into a house, where they lived for many years.
"There is a tradition handed down by Lord Lansdowne", says the Edinburgh Review, "that he was ready to go through the formal ceremony of marriage with either sister, to make sure of their society and confer rank and fortune on the family - he had the power of charging the Orford estate with a jointure of £2,000 a year.”
In 1779, Mary had been sought in marriage by a Mr. Bowman and wrote long afterwards that she had "suffered as people do" at sixteen "from what, wisely disapproved of, I resisted and dropped."
General Charles O'Hara, governor of Gibraltar, had met Berry in 1784 in Italy, and was engaged to her before leaving England in November 1795 for Gibraltar. Berry had been hesitant to leave England immediately, leading to their gradual estrangement and ultimately the breaking off of their engagement at the end of April 1796.
Walpole died on March 2, 1797 and left each girl £4,000 and the Little Strawberry Hill House, where they lived. He also bequeathed to Robert, Mary, and Agnes Berry his printed works and a box containing manuscripts, to be published at their discretion.
In 1798, Mary published the five volumes of the ''Works of Horace Walpole''. She advertised the work as edited by her father, Robert, but in reality Mary performed most of the work, except a brief passage in the preface that refers to herself.
Berry then wrote a five-act comedy titled ''Fashionable Friends'' under Walpole’s name. Berry and her father and sister performed the play at Strawberry Hill until the performance was moved to Drury Lane Theatre in May 1802. The play failed after three nights due to its lax morality.
Other works she published include Walpole’s the Mysterious Mother and another of her own plays, a farce called The Martins, set down in a manuscript list of her writings, and was never produced either in print or on the stage.
Before her failure at Drury Lane, Berry had visited Paris where she was presented to Napoleon in the palace of the Tuileries, following which she traveled throughout Europe.
In 1810, Berry brought four volumes, which she annotated by herself, the letters of Madame du Deffand to Horace Walpole between 1766 and 1780, as well as those de Deffand wrote to Voltaire between 1759 and 1775. Berry received £200 for this work.
On 18 May 1817, Robert Berry died, leaving the sisters with a scant income. In 1819, Mary Berry brought out Some Account of the Life of Rachel Wriothesley, Lady Russell, followed by a series of Letters from Lady Russell to her husband, Lord William Russell, from 1672 to 1682, together with some Miscellaneous Letters to and from Lady Russell. The work was then published from the originals, owned by the Duke of Devonshire.
Berry published the first volume of her most famous work, A Comparative View of the Social Life of England and France from the Restoration of Charles the Second to the French Revolution, in 1828; the second volume appeared in March 1831, called Social Life in England and France from the French Revolution in 1789 to that of July 1830. It was reissued as a collected whole in the complete edition of her Works in 1844, with a new title, England and France: a comparative View of the Social Condition of both Countries alongside Fashionable Friends and her other writings.
Mary Berry died around midnight on November 20, 1852 at age 90 from old age.
A collection of Berry’s works and letters were published posthumously in 1865, titled "Extracts from the Journals and Correspondence of Miss Berry from 1783 to 1852, edited by Lady Theresa Lewis".
Berry and her sister Agnes had a remarkable association with Horace Walpole. In his letters, Walpole spoke of both in terms of the strongest affection and endearment, in one instance addressing them as his "twin wives". It was solely for their amusement that he wrote his Reminiscences of the Courts of George I and II (1789). He established the sisters at Teddington in 1789, and two years later, he induced them to make their home at Little Strawberry Hill, the sometime residence of his friend, Kitty Clive. Walpole's will provided for them by a bequest to each of £4000, and to both, the house and property at Little Strawberry Hill.
Berry's literary productions include the comedy, Fashionable Friends; England and France, a Comparative View of the Social Conditions in both Countries (1844), and an edition of the Works of Horace Walpole (1798), which she collected and edited.
Her journals were edited and published by Lady Theresa Lewis in 1865 as Extracts of the Journals and Correspondence of Miss Berry from the year 1783 to 1852.
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=e
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=e
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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