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MS Hyde 88 (shelved with bMS Hyde 89)

Burney, Charles, 1726-1814. Charles Burney correspondence, 1755-1811: 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 88 (shelved with bMS Hyde 89)
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Burney, Charles, 1726-1814
Title: Charles Burney correspondence,
Date(s): 1755-1811.
Quantity: 1 collection (.5 linear feet (1 box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Letters to and from author and musician Charles Burney, including some which discuss Samuel Johnson's final days and James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.

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.

Conditions Governing Use:

Images linked to this finding aid are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Charles Burney Correspondence, 1755-1811 (MS Hyde 88). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Related Materials

Several related items are also part of the Hyde Collection, including five letters from Samuel Johnson in MS Hyde 1, items (14) and (126); four letters from Hester Lynch Piozzi in MS Hyde 3, item (13); six letters to and from various parties in MS Hyde 57, pages 12 to 17 and 22; a letter to George Henry Glasse in MS Hyde 61, item (7.14); two letters to Thomas Cadell in MS Hyde 69, item (10); a letter from Bennet Langton in MS Hyde 77; and a letter from Hester Lynch Piozzi in MS Eng 1477, item (1).

Biographical / Historical

Charles Burney (1726-1814) established a reputation as an organist and composer before moving to London in 1760. There he became a central figure in the circle gathered around author Samuel Johnson. Burney published numerous works of music scholarship, most notably his four-volume A General History of Music (1776-1789). Eight of his children survived to adulthood, including novelist Frances d'Arblay, generally known as Fanny Burney (1752-1840); Susanna Elizabeth Phillips, generally known as Susanna Burney (1755-1800); and Charles Burney (1757-1817).


Alvaro Ribeiro, ed., The Letters of Dr Charles Burney, Volume 1: 1751-1784 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991)

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of 12 letters by Burney, five letters received by him, and two poems. Of special importance is a portion of Burney's notes on Samuel Johnson sent to James Boswell, item (2), which were used in Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson LL.D. The collection also includes letters to Fanny Burney, item (3); and Samuel Johnson, item (8). Many of the letters discuss Samuel Johnson, including two that describe his final days in detail, items (10) and (12). One letter originally thought to have been written by Burney, item (13), has upon scholarly assessment been attributed to his son, Charles Burnley (1757-1817).

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