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MS Hyde 66

Baretti, Giuseppe Marco Antonio, 1719-1789. Giuseppe Marco Antonio Baretti letters, 1762-1788: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Hyde 66
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Baretti, Giuseppe Marco Antonio, 1719-1789.
Title: Giuseppe Marco Antonio Baretti letters,
Date(s): 1762-1788.
Quantity: 1 collection (.5 linear feet (1 box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English, Italian, and Spanish.
Abstract: Letters from Italian writer Giuseppe Baretti to a variety of correspondents, often addressing literary and political topics.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2003JM-58 (part). Bequest of Mary Hyde Eccles, Four Oaks Farm, Somerville, New Jersey; received: 2004.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Rick Stattler

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Giuseppe Marco Antonio Baretti Letters, 1762-1788 (MS Hyde 66). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Related Materials

Several related items are also part of the Hyde Collection, including a letter from Baretti to Hester Lynch Piozzi in MS Hyde 3, item (2); Baretti's 1775 accounting of Samuel Johnson's expenses in France, MS Hyde 50, item (1); and six letters between Baretti, Temple Henry Croker, and Henry Townsend in MS Hyde 79, items (1) and (2).

Biographical / Historical

Giuseppe Marco Antonio Baretti (1719-1789) was a native of Turin, Italy. After beginning his literary career in Italy, he removed to London in 1751. There he served as an Italian language tutor, and soon became a member of Samuel Johnson's literary circle. After publishing A Dictionary of the English and Italian Languages (1760), he returned to Italy for five years, where he courted controversy with his literary periodical La Frusta Letteraria. He settled in London permanently in 1765. In 1769, he stabbed a man to death in a street brawl, but was acquitted on the grounds of self-defense with the help of character testimony from Johnson and other members of the Literary Club. From 1773 to 1776, he served as a live-in Italian tutor in the home of Henry and Hester Thrale.


Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of sixteen letters written by Baretti to a variety of correspondents. The letters are written variously in English, Italian, and Spanish, and the content is generally literary or political. Giambattista Biffi, item (1), and actor David Garrick, item (5), are the most prominent correspondents. Many of the letters have typescript transcripts or translations. The collection also includes Baretti's book contract with George Robinson, apparently for Easy Phraseology for the Use of Young Ladies, item (7).

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