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
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.