Amelia Alderson Opie Correspondence mssOP

Brooke M. Black
The Huntington Library
November 2020
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Business Number: (626) 405-2191


Finding aid last updated on May 16, 2022, by Maggie Hughes.

Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
Title: Amelia Alderson Opie correspondence
Creator: Opie, Amelia, 1769-1853
Identifier/Call Number: mssOP
Physical Description: 5.83 Linear Feet (5 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1794-1854
Date (bulk): 1820-1840
Abstract: Correspondence belonging to British Romantic poet and author Amelia Alderson Opie.
Language of Material: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Amelia Alderson Opie Correspondence, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Sotheby's, June 1953.

Biographical / Historical

Amelia Alderson Opie was a British Romantic poet and author. She was born in Norwich in 1769 to physician James Alderson and Amelia Briggs. Her mother died when Opie was 15. She anonymously published her first novel, The dangers of coquetry in 1790 at the age of 21. She married painter John Opie in 1798. Opie was the author of over a dozen novels and eight volumes of poetry. She was an active abolitionist and joined the Quakers in 1814. She died in Norwich in 1853.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence, most of which are from Amelia Alderson Opie, to her cousin, Eliza Alderson Briggs (173 letters) and husband Henry Perronet Briggs (100 letters). Many of the remaining letters in the collection are to other Alderson family members. Subjects discussed include the life and affairs of Amelia Alderson Opie and her family and friends, local trips to the country, their social lives and activities, current plays and books, several brief trips to Paris and the Rhineland, local elections, the Quaker philanthropist and writer Joseph John Gurney, and the paintings of Henry Briggs Other individuals represented in the collection include Pierre-Jean David d'Angers (26 pieces) and William Godwin (1 letter to Amelia Alderson Opie)

Processing Information

Processed by Huntington Library staff. In 2020, Brooke M. Black created a finding aid.

Existence and Location of Copies

This collection has been digitized in its entirety and the digital reproductions are available in the Huntington Digital Library. 


Arranged alphabetically.


Individual call numbers included in the collection: mssOP 1-364.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Women authors, English -- 19th century -- Correspondence
Letters (correspondence) -- Great Britain -- 19th century
Briggs, Eliza
Briggs, Henry Perronet, 1792-1844
David d'Angers, Pierre-Jean, 1788-1856
Godwin, William, 1756-1836
Gurney, Joseph John, 1788-1847
Godwin, William, 1756-1836

Box 1

Alderson-Amelia Opie to Alderson 1822 July 22

Physical Description: OP 51 was originally a bifolium, but the item split along the spine fold and now lives as single sheets.
Box 2

Amelia Opie to Alderson 1824 November 28-Amelia Opie to Henry Briggs 1836, September 30

Box 3

Amelia Opie to Henry Briggs 1836 November 17-Amelia Opie to Eliza Briggs 1822 September 19

Box 4

Amelia Opie to Eliza Briggs 1822 May 10-1834 January 7

Box 5

Amelia Opie to Eliza Briggs 1834 January 25-1839 and ephemera