This collection is primarily composed of autograph letters and drafts written by Ann Harris and Richard Chandler between October
1804 and September 1807. The bulk of the material is finished letters written from Harris to Chandler. Material attributed
to Chandler consists of nine draft letters to Harris. This collection also includes a small selection of letters written by
friends and family of the main correspondents. Topics include local society gossip, working-class social conditions, courtship,
love and marriage, and financial concerns.
While nothing is known about Ann Harris or Richard Chandler apart from the contents of this collection, their three-year correspondence
provides tremendous insight into the history of working-class women in early nineteenth-century England. The finished letters
of Ann Harris tell a story of a woman constantly searching for independence and self-worth in a social class without privilege
and only limited freedom. The drafts of Richard Chandler, though minimal both in extent and information, present a man in
pursuit of love and happiness struggling to attain what he most wants. The words of Harris and Chandler reveal a deeply loving
and troubled relationship that echoes the difficult realities of working-class life at this time.
1.73 linear feet
Material is in the public domain. No restrictions on use.
The collection is open for research.