Mary Hays

The life and works of Mary Hays (1759–1843)

Mary Hays (1759–1843) was an intellectual who published essays, poetry, novels, and several works on famous women. She is remembered for her early feminism, and her close relations to dissenting and radical thinkers of her time including Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, and William Frend.

Click below to view the most complete account to date of her life and writings, including:

* A fully searchable text of all her surviving correspondence (several not previous known) presented in chronological order 

* The complete texts of all her periodical writings between 1784 and 1801, including the entirety of her memoir of Mary Wollstonecraft

* A complete text of Cursory Remarks (1792) and portions of Letters and Essays 1793) and some prefaces to her later works

* The complete texts of all known reviews and notices (approximately 45) of Hays's writings between 1792 and 1821

* The first complete and accurate transcriptions of some 90 letters from Eliza Fenwick to Mary Hays between 1798 and 1828 (these are included in the Correspondence)

And much more.


Coleridge in Calne booklet by Ian Enters

Coleridge in Calne
Ian Enters
Booklet, 32 pages, black and white printing, card covers
£5.00 plus £1.00 p&p.

The booklet describes Coleridge’s significant achievements during his stay in Calne, Wiltshire. Coleridge lived there for a comparatively short time, but this was a period of intense creativity, just as his less than three years in Nether Stowey had been.

Between 1814 and 1816 his efforts coalesced into an amazing tour de force: Biographia Literaria and Sybilline Leaves, the publication of Kubla Khan, Christabel, and The Pains of Sleep, the annotation of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and the first draft of his second play, Zapolya.

Coleridge in Calne describes the almost miraculous recovery of Coleridge from a period of deep depression and drug dependency, and is an encomium to John Morgan, Mary Morgan and, her sister, Charlotte Brent, who were instrumental in his support.

To order a copy, email Ian Enters at

WW portrait

Invitation to the Annual Wordsworth Lecture - Thurs 22 Nov, 6-7pm, Senate House London

The Annual Wordsworth Lecture 2018

The Wordsworth Trust and the Institute of English Studies, University of London, invite you to ‘A Daedalus for the Romantic Era? Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’

A talk by Professor Fiona Sampson

The lecture will take place on Thursday 22 November 2018,6.00-7.00pm in the Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.

wordsworth trust lecture

Both Frankenstein and the Daedalus myth address our fear of the exceptional individual who abuses his talents by overreaching: the maker who doesn’t know when to stop. Both create capacious archetypes, with plenty of space to explore ambivalence and even admiration alongside that fear. But Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein takes us considerably further than the composite Daedalus story: in a number of directions. Political, ethical, existential and scientific, all seem particularly pertinent to British Romantic experience of society and the self. But is it a paradox that this apparently universalisable myth could only have been written in its own time and place?

If you would like to attend, please RSVP with your name and number of places to:
Hannah Stratton, Development Office, the Wordsworth Trust, Dove Cottage, Grasmere, Cumbria, LA22 9SH.

Alternatively, telephone 015394 63520 or email

Please RSVP by Friday 16 November

medal single face

Help fund the Ottery Coleridge sculpture by acquiring this beautiful Coleridge Commemorative Coin

The Ottery St Mary Coleridge Memorial Trust and its patrons have produced a beautiful commemorative coin to mark the beginnings of a fundraising effort for the planned sculpture of Samuel Taylor Coleridge in the parish churchyard.

The coin is 50mm (2 inches) in diameter and finely worked with a portrait of Coleridge in silver and aquamarine on one face and the Ancient Mariner’s ship on the other. Just 250 copies have been struck in recognition of the 250th anniversary of Coleridge’s birthday in 2022.

It is the CMT’s hope that the funding will be complete and the sculpture in place by the time the anniversary celebrations take place.

The coin comes in a protective, snap-shut plastic cover contained in a royal blue presentation case. If you’ve been looking for a timeless Ottery St Mary keepsake, or simply a unique item, this is highly collectible.

commemorative medal

To find out more and to order your coin, visit

The proposed Coleridge Sculpture

STC maquette

We appointed Nicholas Dimbleby as our sculptor, and in 2016 commissioned a maquette as a study for the final work. We plan from this a life-size figure cast in bronze that will stand on a low plinth with a bronze plaque on the front face. It will be inscribed with several lines from Coleridge’s poem ‘Frost at Midnight’ that refers to the church tower beneath which the sculpture will be situated,

‘With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt
Of my sweet birth-place, and the old church-tower,
Whose bells, the poor man’s only music, rang
From morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day’

We anticipate that the entire project will cost in the region of £100,000. The limited edition of Coleridge Commemorative Medals is a vital part of our fundraising campaign.

jesus chimney 1024x576

‘STC 2018’: The Friends of Coleridge Biennial Summer Conference – report by Justin Shepherd

Even without the astonishing, almost North African, heat and light of the first three days, there were some obvious strengths of Jesus as a venue. The accommodation was all of a high standard, the support staff were numerous and very professional, the food good and, in the evenings, excellent. More importantly, the auditoriums were all one would expect from a major institution of learning, and the bar and terrace encouraged the collegiate atmosphere for which this conference is renowned. The only major downside was the need to have parallel panels as a result of the numbers attending in combination with the shortening of the conference to keep costs down.

Some eighty delegates attended, more than a third of whom were from overseas. Europe was well represented, including delegates from Germany, Switzerland, Hungary and Spain. Numerous old friends and new faces came over from North America, with Asia and Australasia also making significant contributions. I would like to thank them all for the, sometimes, very considerable effort they made to be there. In a conference of this size every single delegate makes an important contribution to the atmosphere and has the opportunity to talk to anyone and everyone.
More than sixty academic papers were delivered, along with two substantial keynote papers. There was a poetry reading, given by two distinguished and long standing Friends, Peter Larkin and Greg Leadbetter; a formal awarding at a wine reception of the first John Beer Bursary to Kurtis Hessell, a young American scholar from Colerado; a presentation on behalf of the Coleridge Memorial Trust given by members of the Coleridge family, and several outings, including a punt trip and one to the Fitzwilliam Museum for a private viewing of some of the Blake books in the Geoffrey Keynes collection.

The parallel panels meant that no one person, however conscientious, could have attended more than about a third of the papers, so it would be invidious to try summarise or characterise the entire academic programme. However, the programming was very skilfully managed, so that preoccupations and subjects were generally grouped together to enhance coherence. Even when the titles of papers in the same panel seemed remote from each other, it was fascinating to note how often there was a productive juxtaposition of topics and ideas; serendipity can sometimes be more stimulating and suggestive than planning.

What is the state of Coleridge studies at the present time? A glance at the programme will enable some sense of the wide range of approaches. There were, as always, a good number of very well researched papers exploring the scientific, theological or intellectual contexts. The opening paper by Anya Taylor, which introduced ecological poetry into the mix, seemed to set up vibrations which reverberated off and on throughout the rest of the conference. There were a few studies of individual poems, some with a focus on prosody and form. Perhaps for the first time, there were papers which explored Coleridge’s letters as literary artifacts in themselves rather than merely as evidence. This led to a consideration of the performative nature of the letters, of the epistolary verse, and, later, of the literary and philosophical lectures. Charles Mahoney’s keynote on the ‘Lectures on Shakespeare’ focused on this aspect, while once more reminding us of how very difficult it remains, in spite of the Bollingen edition, to lay one’s hands on all of Coleridge’s Shakespeare criticism, which can be found in the most surprising places. His forthcoming edition will be welcomed by scholars as well as students.

The Lamb Society generously supported this year’s conference and there was an excellent Lamb panel devoted to Coleridge’s old friend, which looked well beyond the familiar Elian essays. Other contemporary writers and figures also featured, with Alan Vardy’s keynote John Beer memorial Lecture devoted to Thomas De Quincey’s preoccupation with memory and time. As always, there were some fascinating ‘left field’ contributions, just to make the rest of us feel a bit pedestrian and parochial. These included, to take but two, a translation of Christabel into Hebrew by Lilach Bornstein and a Marxist reading of Wordsworth’s and Southey’s poems featuring Native American and Peruvian Indians by Valentina Aparicio, who comes from Chile.

For me, the opportunity to examine at very close quarters and at leisure Blake’s Marriage of Heaven and Hell in a beautiful copy, along with other illuminated books in the seclusion of a private room at the Fitzwilliam was a highlight. Perhaps this visit to a building just over the wall from the William Stone building at Peterhouse, where John Beer did so much of his work on Blake as well as on Coleridge, can in retrospect be seen as a further tribute to the great scholar and critic who was being commemorated at this conference.

On arrival at Jesus, one was struck by how the courts were all scorched brown by drought, with the exception of a single one, lovingly watered to maintain an emerald green, and mown in concentric circles to set off a contemporary sculpture of a prancing horse in the middle. The sun shone unfailingly each of the following three days with temperatures reaching above thirty degrees. But, as we left on Thursday, it was pouring with rain and the pavements were covered with puddles. One needed to come down to earth after the intensity and exhilaration of this highly successful and well organised conference.