Hester Thrale, Henry Thrale, Samuel Johnson, and Fanny Burney blue plaque in Brighton

Immediately to the south of this building stood the house occupied by Hester and Henry Thrale where Samuel Johnson and Fanny Burney were frequent visitors

Henry Thrale (1724/1730?–4 April 1781) was an 18th-century English Member of Parliament (MP) and a close friend of Samuel Johnson. Like his father, he was the proprietor of the large London brewery, H. Thrale & Co.Born at the Alehouse in Harrow Corner, Southwark, he was the son of the rich brewer Ralph Thrale (1698–1758) and Mary Thrale. He married Hester Lynch Salusbury on 11 October 1763; they had 12 children, and she outlived him. He was MP for Southwark 23 December 1765 – September 1780, an Alderman, and Sheriff of the City of London: a respected, religious man who was a good hunter and sportsman with a taste for gambling.

Source: dbpedia

Hester Lynch Thrale (born Hester Lynch Salusbury and after her second marriage, Hester Lynch Piozzi) (27 January 1741 [NS] – 2 May 1821) was a British diarist, author, and patron of the arts. Her diaries and correspondence are an important source of information about Samuel Johnson and 18th-century life.

Source: dbpedia

Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709 [O.S. 7 September] – 13 December 1784), often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and committed Tory, and has been described as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history." He is also the subject of "the most famous single work of biographical art in the whole of literature": James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson.Born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, Johnson attended Pembroke College, Oxford for just over a year, before his lack of funds forced him to leave. After working as a teacher he moved to London, where he began to write for The Gentleman's Magazine. His early works include the biography The Life of Richard Savage, the poems "London" and "The Vanity of Human Wishes", and the play Irene.After nine years of work, Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755. It had a far-reaching effect on Modern English and has been described as "one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship." This work brought Johnson popularity and success. Until the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later, Johnson's was viewed as the pre-eminent British dictionary. His later works included essays, an influential annotated edition of William Shakespeare's plays, and the widely read tale Rasselas. In 1763, he befriended James Boswell, with whom he later travelled to Scotland; Johnson described their travels in A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. Towards the end of his life, he produced the massive and influential Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets, a collection of biographies and evaluations of 17th- and 18th-century poets.Johnson was a tall and robust man. His odd gestures and nervous tics were disconcerting to some on first meeting him. Boswell's Life, along with other biographies, documented Johnson's behaviour and mannerisms in such detail that they have informed the posthumous diagnosis of Tourette syndrome, a condition not defined or diagnosed in the 18th century. After a series of illnesses, he died on the evening of 13 December 1784, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. In the years following his death, Johnson began to be recognised as having had a lasting effect on literary criticism, and he was claimed by some to be the only truly great critic of English literature.

Source: dbpedia

For the playwright Frances Burney (1776–1828), niece of the novelist, see Frances Burney (1776–1828).Frances Burney (13 June 1752 – 6 January 1840), also known as Fanny Burney and after her marriage as Madame d’Arblay, was an English novelist, diarist and playwright. She was born in Lynn Regis, now King’s Lynn, England, on 13 June 1752, to musical historian Dr Charles Burney (1726–1814) and Esther Sleepe Burney (1725–1762). The third of six children, she was self-educated and began writing what she called her "scribblings" at the age of ten. In 1793, aged 42, she married a French exile, General Alexandre D'Arblay. Their only son, Alexander, was born in 1794. After a lengthy writing career, and travels that took her to France for more than ten years, she settled in Bath, England, where she died on 6 January 1840.

Source: dbpedia

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