Scholars’ Progress Blog: Musings on Mary Anne Clarke

December 12, 2023
Full-length portrait of a woman, likely to be Mary Anne Clarke, wearing a white neoclassical dress and standing on a balcony with a curtain drapped from the left corner.

Laura Engel,  Professor of English, Duquesne University, considers the dichotomy of how Mary Anne Clarke, mistress of the Duke of York in the first decade of the nineteenth century, was portrayed–both in the beauty of the stylish pictures and the virulent, cruel attacks mounted by the caricature. A pastel portrait of Clarke, circa 1804, recently acquired by the Lewis Walpole Library, blends elements of both types of depiction.