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Mary Granville was born into a family of loyal followers of the Stuarts. When she was young, the family moved to London, where Mary came into close contact with the English Court. She was sent to live with her aunt, Lady Stanley, with plans to become a maid-of-honour. She studied painting, French, history, music, needlework and dancing. After Queen Anne's death in 1714, which led to the accession of the Hanoverians, Mary's family moved to an isolated manor in Gloucestershire. However, Mary was allowed to continue her studies. She developed a special interest in the art of paper cutting. In 1718, she made an unhappy marriage brought on by her parents' financial straits to Alexander Pendarves, a Member of Parliament 40 years her senior. After his death when she was 24, she remained unmarried for many years until she remarried to Patrick Delany, Dean of Down, a friend of Jonathan Swift, in 1743. Mrs. Delaney had always been an artist, but it was during her second marriage that she was able to improve her skills. She became known for her paintings of flowers and animals, and her portraits. She produced 250 paper mosaics and flowers, completed when she was 85 years old, some of which are now in the British Museum. She joined the Bluestocking circle of Elizabeth Robinson Montagu. During her second widowhood (after 1768), Mrs. Delany was highly regarded by King George III and Queen Charlotte, who provided her with a pension and a small house at Windsor. She obtained a place in the household of Queen Charlotte for her friend Fanny Burney. Mary Delany's writings and letters were collected and published in six volumes by Lady Llanover under the title Autobiography and Correspondence in 1861–1862. Mrs. Delany and Her Flower Collages (reissued as Mrs. Delany: Her Life and Her Flowers) was published in 1980 by Ruth Hayden, a descendant of her sister Anne.
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