The Remains of the Late Mrs Richard Trench
Being Selections from her Journals, Letters & Other Papers
Edited by her son the Dean of Westminster
Parker, Son, and Bourn, London, 1862.
Hardback; 150 x 215 mm; marbled, green half leather boards with raised bands on the spine and titles in gold; viii & 525 pages, all edges painted; marbled endpapers. No dust jacket.
The book is in fair condition. The binding is sound though there is cracking along the gutter between the frontispiece and the title page. The covers are scuffed, worn, and bumped. There is foxing and tanning. The verso of the front free endpaper is annotated in black ink: “S H Willard June 1891”.
Melesina Trench (née Chenevix, previously St George; 1768–1827) was an Irish writer, poet, and diarist. During her lifetime she was known more for her beauty than her writing, and it wasn't until her son, Richard Chenevix Trench, published her diaries posthumously in 1862 that her work received notice. The selections here cover the period 1768 to 1827.
This includes the period Melesina travelled around Europe, especially Germany, meeting Lord Nelson, Lady Hamilton, and the cream of European society, including Rivarol, Lucien Bonaparte, and John Quincy Adams. She recounted anecdotes of these meetings in her memoirs. In Paris in 1803 she married her second husband Richard Trench (1774–1860). After the breakdown of the Peace of Amiens, Richard Trench was detained in France by Napoleon's armies, and in 1805 Melesina took it upon herself to petition Napoleon in person and plead for her husband's release. Her husband was released in 1807, and the couple settled in England.
There is much here to interest both the general reader and the academic researching in this field, providing a contemporaneous account of the important people Melesina met and knew, the events to which she was a witness, and the society in which she moved.