Mrs Delany’s triumph is that she conserved her spirit despite the strait-jacket strictures of 18th century lady-training and some crushing things arrayed against it in her early life.

‘She was somehow managing to hoard her rowdiness and to compost it into fuel for later adult engagement with life.’

See also the bestellar review of this luminous book, complete with a mosaic of quotations and metaphors.

Source: Molly Peacock, The Paper Garden (London: Bloomsbury, 2012), p. 41

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