Stella (1868). John Everett Millais (English, Pre-Raphaelite, 1829-1896). Oil on canvas. Manchester City Art Galleries, Manchester.
From ‘Journey to Stella’ by Jonathan Swift. Esther Johnson (1681–1728) was the English friend of Swift, known as Stella. She was the daughter of Lillian Johnson, a famous prostitute at the time.
A collection of her witticisms was published by Swift under the titles of ‘Bon Mots de Stella’ as an appendix to some editions of Gulliver’s Travels.
Swift was inconsolable at Esther’s death and wrote ‘The Death of Mrs. Johnson’ in tribute to her.