Mary, Countess Cowper entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
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Most of Mary, Countess Cowper's extant writings were produced with some immediate political purpose. Even her loving letters to her husband are attentive to the state of the nation and to his career within it. Other letters address key players on the political stage. Mary, Countess Cowper's reputation rests on the lively Court diary which she kept early in the reign of George I, while she was a Lady in Waiting, but to the regret of later historians she burned most of it.
8 November 1685 Mary Clavering (later MCC) was born, the elder of her parents' two surviving children. Bibliographic Citation link.
Late October 1714 On her appointment as Lady in Waiting to Caroline of Anspach, the new Princess of Wales, MCC began keeping a private diary to record the true version of what went on at Court, in opposition to the "perpetual Lies that One hears." Bibliographic Citation link.
1722 With her husband, Lord Cowper, suddenly under suspicion of harbouring Jacobite sympathies, MCC gave way to anxiety about the outspokenness of the Court diary she had been keeping since October 1714: she destroyed most of it. Bibliographic Citation link.
10 December 1723 MCC wrote her will two months to the day after the death of her husband, Lord Cowper. Bibliographic Citation link.
5 February 1724 MCC, not yet forty and a widow of less than four months, died at Cole Green near Hertingfordbury in Hertfordshire, of "what is often talked of, but seen in very few Instances—a broken Heart," Bibliographic Citation link. according to her elder daughter. Bibliographic Citation link.
1864 MCC's descendant Charles Spencer Cowper edited and first published her surviving diary; he omitted, however, passages which he considered salacious or unsuitable. Bibliographic Citation link.
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