Maintained by: Elisa E. Beshero-Bondar (ebb8 at pitt.edu) Creative Commons LicenseLast modified: 2018-08-17T03:48:31.969-04:00

Our default is the Diplomatic view.
Click to toggle the Normalized view
(shows conventional spellings;
hides pagebreaks, insertion marks, and deletions):

Letter to B.R. HaydonBenjamin Robert Haydon | Born: 1786-01-26 in Plymouth, England. Died: 1846-06-22 in London.
Benjamin Robert Haydon was a painter educated at the Royal Academy, who was famous for contemporary, historical, classical, biblical, and mythological scenes, though tormented by financial difficulties. He painted William Wordsworth’s portrait in 1842. MRM was introduced to him at his London studio in the spring of 1817, and Sir William Elford was a mutual friend. He committed suicide in 1846. English painter and author (1786-1846) Published Autobiography in 3 vols. (1853) John Keats named him in several poems. --#ebb #lmw
, 9 February 1821.

Edited by Karen Bourrier.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: 4 June 2014. P5. . .

Published by: Digital Mitford: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive, Greensburg, PA, USA: 2014.

Reproduced by courtesy of the Reading Central Library.

Digital Mitford Letters: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive

Repository: Reading Central Library. Shelf mark: qB/TU/MIT Vol. 4 ff.441 Horizon No.: 1361550

Address leaf bearing the following postmarks: 1) A black circular stamp reads READING
12 FE 1821.
42
2) A brown double-circle stamp reading 12 FE 12.
3) A sepia oval stamp reading o'Clock
FE 12
1821 ENG A portion of page 3 has been torn away under the seal.Red wax seal, adhered to upper right corner of page four.

Hands other than Mitford's noted on this manuscript:

Mitford’s spelling and punctuation are retained, except where a word is split at the end of a line and the beginning of the next in the manuscript. Where Mitford’s spelling and hyphenation of words deviates from the standard, in order to facilitate searching we are using the TEI elements “choice," “sic," and “reg" to encode both Mitford’s spelling and the regular international standard of Oxford English spelling, following the first listed spelling in the Oxford English Dictionary. The long s and ligatured forms are not encoded.
Three Mile CrossThree Mile Cross, Berkshire, England | Three Mile Cross | Berkshire | England | 51.4047211 -0.9734518999999864 | Village in the parish of Shinfield in Berkshire, where Mary Russell Mitford moved with her parents in 1820. They lived in a cottage there until 1851. --#ebb51.4047211 -0.9734518999999864February 9th 1821.My dear Sir

I am quite ashamed when I look at the date of your last letter, but I generally transgress  the against the etiquette of correspondence by writing too soon--so you must balance one offenceoffense with the other & forgive me for both--you are so good that I am sure of your pardon. I have been very busy--audaciously busy--writing a tragedy. We are poor you know--When I was in Town I saw an indifferent Tragedy of which the indifferent success produced for the author three or four hundred pounds. This raised my emulation, which the splendid   reception of VirginiusVirginius. Sheridan Knowles. or MirandolaMirandola. would never have excited & I began to write on the subject of FiescoGiovanni Luigi Fiesco Fieschi, count of Lavagna | Born: 1522. Died: 1547-01-02.
Giovanni Luigi Fieschi (or Fiesco), count of Lavagna (c. 1522 – 2 January 1547), nobleman of Genoa and leader of the failed Fieschi conspiracy of 1547. Subject of a play by Schiller, Die Verschwörung des Fiesco zu Genua (Fiesco) (1782) . Subject of a play by Mitford, written and submitted to Macready for consideration, but never performed or printed. --#lmw
whose conspiracy against DoriaAndrea Doria, or: D’Oria | Born: 1466-11-30 in Oneglia, Republic of Genoa. Died: 1560-11-25 in Genoa, Republic of Genoa.
--
is so beautifully told in Robertson'sWilliam Robertson, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Doctor of Divinity, minister of the Church of Scotland, King’s Chaplain, Chaplain of Stirling Castle, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, or: Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Doctor of Divinity minister of the Church of Scotland King’s Chaplain Chaplain of Stirling Castle Principal of the University of Edinburgh | Born: 1721-09-19 in Borthwick, Midlothian, Scotland. Died: 1793-06-01 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Scottish historian, clergyman, and Principal of the University of Edinburgh, author of The History of Scotland, 1542-1603 (1759) and The History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V (1769), considered his most important work. --#lmw
Charles the FifthThe History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V. William Robertson . 1769. . There is a German tragedyDie Verschwörung des Fiesco zu Genua; or Fiesco’s Conspiracy at Genoa . Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller. Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller von Schiller Johann Christoph Friedrich . of the same name, I believe, by SchillerJohann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller
German author (1759-1805) Wrote Die Räuber or The Robbers (play, 1781), Fiesco (play, 1783), and Wilhelm Tell or William Tell play, 1804). Early in her playwriting career, Mitford attempted an adaptation of his Fiesco which was never performed. --#lmw
, but I have neither seen nor sought for it probably on the same principle on which Mr. FuseliHenry Fuseli, or: Johann Heinrich Füssli | Born: 1741-02-07 in Zürich, Switzerland. Died: 1825-04-17 in Putney Hill, London, England.
--
avoids nature for fear that SchillerJohann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller
German author (1759-1805) Wrote Die Räuber or The Robbers (play, 1781), Fiesco (play, 1783), and Wilhelm Tell or William Tell play, 1804). Early in her playwriting career, Mitford attempted an adaptation of his Fiesco which was never performed. --#lmw
should "find me out."--It is finished--that is it was finished--but as I had unluckily slid my hero off the scene like a ghost, I am advised to write the Fifth act over again, which I shall do next week. It is terribly feeble & womanish of course--wants breadth--wants papism--& has nothing to redeem its faults but a little poetry & some merit they say in the dialogue. I am afraid that it will not be accepted & that you will never hear of it again--but I could not bear to make an attempt of the sort without confiding my many fears & my few hopes to one who will I am sure sympathisesympathize with both--my anxiety on the subject is not of vanity--It is not fame or praise that I want but the power of assisting my dearest & kindest FatherGeorge Mitford, Esq., or: George Midford | Born: . Died: .
George Mitford was born on November 15, 1760 in Hexham, Northumberland, the son of Francis Midford, surgeon, and Jane Graham. He was related to the Mitfords of Mitford Castle, Northumberland. In 1784, he was living in Alresford and is listed in a Hampshire directory as "surgeon (medicine)." Although later sources would claim that he was a graduate of the University of Edinburgh medical school, there is no evidence that he obtained a medical degree; his father and grandfather worked as surgeon-apothecaries and it seems likely that he served a medical apprenticeship with family members. He married Mary Russell on October 17, 1785 at New Alresford, Hampshire. On the marriage allegation papers, both gave their addresses as Old Alresford; they later came to live at Broad Street in New Alresford. Their only child to live to adulthood, Mary Russell Mitford, was born two years later on December 16, 1787 at New Alresford, Hampshire. George Mitford died on December 11, 1842 at Three Mile Cross in the parish of Shinfield, Berkshire. --#lmw
. I am in very kind & skillful hands--FiescoFiesco. Mary Russell Mitford.
Mitford’s first attempt to write a full-length tragedy, never performed or printed, although she did submit it for consideration to William Macready and the managers of Covent Garden Theatre in 1820. Schiller also wrote a play on this subject, entitled Die Verschwörung des Fiesco zu Genua; or Fiesco’s Conspiracy at Genoa. In a letter of 9 February 1821 Mitford indicates that she was not familiar with Schiller’s work, having "neither seen nor sought for it".--#lmw
is now with Mr TalfourdThomas Noon Talfourd | Born: 1795-05-26 in Reading, Berkshire, England. Died: 1854-03-13 in Stafford, Staffordshire, England.
Close friend, literary mentor, and frequent correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. Thomas Noon Talfourd was born on May 26, 1795 at Reading, Berkshire and baptised on July 12, 1795 at the Broad Street Chapel in Reading, the eldest child of Rev. Edward Talfourd and Anne Isabella Noon. His father was a brewer and later established a lunatic asylum for female patients at Normand House, Fulham, which he ran until his death, and the supervision of which was later conducted by his wife and his daughter Anne. Thomas Noon Talfourd married Rachel Rutt on August 31, 1822 at St. John, Hackney, Middlesex. Rachel was the daughter of radical politician and writer John Towill Rutt. Thomas and Rachel had five children: Francis, Mary, Katharine, Thomas Noon [II], and William Wordsworth. In 1832, the family lived at 26 Henrietta Street, St Andrew, Holborn and St George the Martyr, Bloomsbury, England. In 1837, they lived at 56 Russell Square, St. George, Bloomsbury. Talfourd’s chambers were at 2 Elm Court, Temple, London. Talfourd was educated at the newly-established Mill Hill school, a dissenting academy in Reading, from 1808 to 1810. He attended Dr. Richard Valpy’s Reading School from 1810 to 1812. He completed a legal apprenticeship with Joseph Christy, special pleader, in 1817, and was called to the bar in London in 1821. He ultimately earned a D.C.L. (Doctor of Civil Laws) from Oxford on June 20, 1844. While establishing his practice as a barrister and special pleader, he worked as legal correspondent for The Times, reporting on the Oxford Circuit, and also continued his literary interests. After 1833, he was appointed Serjeant at Law, as well as a King’s and Queen’s Counsel. He was elected and served as Member of Parliament for Reading from 1835 to 1841 and from 1847 to 1849 ; he served with Charles Fyshe Palmer, Charles Russell, and Francis Piggott. Highlights of his political and legal career included introducing the first copyright bill into Parliament in 1837 (for which action Charles Dickens dedicated Pickwick Papers to him) and defending Edward Moxon’s publication of Percy Shelley’s Queen Mab in 1841 . He was appointed Queen’s Serjeant in 1846 and Judge of Common Pleas in 1849 , at which post he served until his death in 1854. He was knighted in 1850 . Talfourd’s literary works include his plays Ion (1835), The Athenian Captive (1837) and Glencoe, or the Fate of the MacDonalds(1839). --#lmw #cmm
our highly gifted Town'sman--who gives me that which is most precious, Time & advice & [criticism] almost as good as your's on MirandolaMirandola. . I suppose it is the etiquette not to mention these things till they [Gap: reason: wax seal.][are]actually accepted--so you will have the goodness not to speak of it.--

Miss JamesElizabeth Mary James | Born: . Died: .
Close friend and correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. She was born about 1775 in Bath, Somerset, the eldest daughter of Thomas Webb and Susanna Haycock. Her father died in 1818 and her mother in 1835. After her parents’ deaths, she lived with her two younger sisters, Emily and Susan, in Green Park Buildings, Bath, Walcot, Somerset; High Street, Mortlake, Surrey; and 3 Pembroke Villas, Richmond, Surrey. According to Coles, referring to Mitford’s diary, letters were also addressed to her at Bellevue, Lower Road, Richmond (Coles 26). She died on November 25, 1861, at 3 Pembroke Villas, Richmond, Surrey and was buried at St. Mary Magdalene, Richmond, Surrey. In the 1841 census, under "profession, trade, employment, or independent means" she lists "Ind." for "independent means;" in the 1851 census, she lists "landholder;" in the 1861 census, she lists "railway shareholder."--#lmw
was called was called home so suddenly that I lost the happiness I had promised myself in seeing her. Her sister has been indisposed & they are now much occupied with four pupils. You will probably see her long before I shall, for certainly she will make haste to go to TownLondon, England | London | England | 51.5073509 -0.12775829999998223 | Capital city of England and the United Kingdom; one the oldest cities in Western Europe. Major seaport and global trading center at the mouth of the Thames. From 1831 to 1925, the largest city in the world.--#lmw51.5073509 -0.12775829999998223 & look at your new picture.[1] Most likely, this is Haydon's Raising of LazarusThe Resurrection of Lazarus, The Raising of Lazarus. Benjamin Robert Haydon.
Painting of enormous dimensions exhibited in 1823 at Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London. While on exhibit in 1823, the picture was seized from the gallery when Haydon was arrested for debt and imprisoned for two months.--#ebb
, on which he was working at this time, completed in February 1823.—#ebb
. Is the St. John equal to the Christ? Is that possible?[2] Mitford may be referring to appearance of St. JohnJohn the Apostle John the Evangelist Saint John
Presumably (and contestedly) the author of the fourth book of the New Testament, the Gospel of John.--#ebb
in relation to the image of ChristJesus | Born: 0001. Died: 0034. in the new painting. An article entitled "Mr. Haydon's Raising of Lazarus" in the April 1, 1823 issue of The Repository of Arts, Literature, Fashions, & Manufactures comments that Haydon's paintingThe Resurrection of Lazarus, The Raising of Lazarus. Benjamin Robert Haydon.
Painting of enormous dimensions exhibited in 1823 at Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London. While on exhibit in 1823, the picture was seized from the gallery when Haydon was arrested for debt and imprisoned for two months.--#ebb
, taken from the account of ChristJesus | Born: 0001. Died: 0034. 's raising of LazarusLazarus Lazarus of Bethany
According to the Gospel of St. John the Evangelist, Jesus Christ raised or resurrected Lazarus from the grave four days after his death. The raising of Lazarus is the subject of a painting by Benjamin Robert Haydon, mentioned in his correspondence with MRM.--#ebb
from the Gospel of St. John the EvangelistThe Gospel of John.
Fourth Book of the New Testament of the Christian Bible, presumably (and contestedly) composed by John the Apostle..--#ebb
, depicted St. JohnJohn the Apostle John the Evangelist Saint John
Presumably (and contestedly) the author of the fourth book of the New Testament, the Gospel of John.--#ebb
prominently "with an expression of fervent piety at this fresh proof of his divine masterJesus | Born: 0001. Died: 0034. 's omnnipotence."239
—#ebb
I am very anxious to look once more at the divine HeadChrist’s Entry into Jerusalem. Benjamin Robert Haydon.
One of Haydon’s three enormous paintings of biblical scenes, together with The Judgment of Solomon and The Resurrection of Lazarus. The ODNB notes the dimensions of Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem as "12 ft 6 in. × 15 ft 1 in., with a frame weighing 600 lb." Exhibited at Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London. Wiliam Wordsworth’s head appears in the picture. Now housed in the Athenaeum of Ohio Art Collection of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. [Source: ODNB]--#ebb
which hangs on my memory like some beautiful dream.[3] Mitford is most likely recalling HaydonBenjamin Robert Haydon | Born: 1786-01-26 in Plymouth, England. Died: 1846-06-22 in London.
Benjamin Robert Haydon was a painter educated at the Royal Academy, who was famous for contemporary, historical, classical, biblical, and mythological scenes, though tormented by financial difficulties. He painted William Wordsworth’s portrait in 1842. MRM was introduced to him at his London studio in the spring of 1817, and Sir William Elford was a mutual friend. He committed suicide in 1846. English painter and author (1786-1846) Published Autobiography in 3 vols. (1853) John Keats named him in several poems. --#ebb #lmw
's famous painting, Christ's Entry into JerusalemChrist’s Entry into Jerusalem. Benjamin Robert Haydon.
One of Haydon’s three enormous paintings of biblical scenes, together with The Judgment of Solomon and The Resurrection of Lazarus. The ODNB notes the dimensions of Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem as "12 ft 6 in. × 15 ft 1 in., with a frame weighing 600 lb." Exhibited at Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London. Wiliam Wordsworth’s head appears in the picture. Now housed in the Athenaeum of Ohio Art Collection of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. [Source: ODNB]--#ebb
.—#ebb
--Your health & eyes continue I hope to mend.--I can give you an excellent account of [Mast] & DaphneDaphne
Mitford’s dog, a female greyhound. However, there is also a pug named Daphne in the Our Village sketch Our Godmothers from 3: 1828, 266-287 . That Daphne was a particularly ugly, noisy pug, that barked at every body that came into the house, and bit at most.--#lmw
.--If you should meet with any high & simple story for a Traged [Gap: reason: .][y] will you think of me & send it me--I [Gap: reason: torn.][mean] to try some grander subject.--Have you heard lately of Mr.KeatsJohn Keats | Born: 1795-10-31 in Moorgate, London. Died: 1821-02-23 in Rome. ?--Pray forgive this bad disjointed note.--I could not bear to appear longer unmindful of your kind letter--& yet am so hurried & with visitors that I have not time to write decently.--Adieu my dear Sir--my FatherGeorge Mitford, Esq., or: George Midford | Born: . Died: .
George Mitford was born on November 15, 1760 in Hexham, Northumberland, the son of Francis Midford, surgeon, and Jane Graham. He was related to the Mitfords of Mitford Castle, Northumberland. In 1784, he was living in Alresford and is listed in a Hampshire directory as "surgeon (medicine)." Although later sources would claim that he was a graduate of the University of Edinburgh medical school, there is no evidence that he obtained a medical degree; his father and grandfather worked as surgeon-apothecaries and it seems likely that he served a medical apprenticeship with family members. He married Mary Russell on October 17, 1785 at New Alresford, Hampshire. On the marriage allegation papers, both gave their addresses as Old Alresford; they later came to live at Broad Street in New Alresford. Their only child to live to adulthood, Mary Russell Mitford, was born two years later on December 16, 1787 at New Alresford, Hampshire. George Mitford died on December 11, 1842 at Three Mile Cross in the parish of Shinfield, Berkshire. --#lmw
& MotherMary Russell Mitford, or: Mrs. Mitford | Born: 1750 in Ashe, Hampshire, England. Died: 1830-01-02 in Three Mile Cross, parish of Shinfield, Berkshire, England.
Mary Russell was the youngest child of the Rev. Dr. Richard Russell and his second wife, Mary Dicker; she was born about 1750 in Ashe, Hampshire. (Her birth date is as yet unverified; period sources indicate that she was ten years older than her husband George, born in 1760.) Through the Russells, she was a distant relation of the Dukes of Bedford (sixth creation, 1694). She had two siblings, Charles William and Frances; both predeceased her and their parents, which resulted in Mary Russell inheriting her family’s entire estate upon her mother’s death in 1785. Her father’s rectory in Ashe was only a short distance from Steventon, and so she was acquainted with the young Jane Austen. She married George Mitford or Midford on October 17, 1785 at New Alresford, Hampshire. On the marriage allegation papers, both gave their addresses as Old Alresford. Their only daughter, Mary Russell Mitford, was born two years later on December 16, 1787 at New Alresford, Hampshire. Mary Russell died on January 2, 1830 at Three Mile Cross in the parish of Shinfield, Berkshire. Her obituary in the 1830 New Monthly Magazine gives the "New Year’s day" as the date of her death. --#ajc #lmw
join in kindest regards to you--


Ever most sincerely your'syours
M. R. MitfordMary Russell Mitford | Born: 1787-12-16 in New Alresford, Hampshire, England. Died: 1855-01-10 in Swallowfield, Berkshire, England.
Poet, playwright, writer of prose fiction sketches, Mary Russell Mitford is, of course, the subject of our archive. Mary Russell Mitford was born on December 16, 1787 at New Alresford, Hampshire, the only child of George Mitford (or Midford) and Mary Russell. She was baptized on February 29, 1788. Much of her writing was devoted to supporting herself and her parents. She received a civil list pension in 1837. Census records from 1841 indicate that she is living with her father George, three female servants: Kerenhappuch Taylor (Mary’s ladies maid), two maids of all work, Mary Bramley and Mary Allaway, and a manservant (probably serving also as gardener), Benjamin Embury. The 1851 census lists her occupation as "authoress," and lists her as living at Three Mile Cross with Kerenhappuch Taylor (lady’s maid), Sarah Chernk (maid-of-all-work), and Samuel Swetman (gardener), after the death of her father. Mitford’s long life and prolific career ended after injuries from a carriage accident. She died on 10 January 1855 at Swallowfield, Berkshire and she is buried in Swallowfield churchyard. The executor of her will and her literary executor was the Rev. William Harness and her lady’s maid, Kerenhappuch Taylor Sweetman, was residuary legatee of her estate. --#lmw #ebb
.
B. R. HaydonBenjamin Robert Haydon | Born: 1786-01-26 in Plymouth, England. Died: 1846-06-22 in London.
Benjamin Robert Haydon was a painter educated at the Royal Academy, who was famous for contemporary, historical, classical, biblical, and mythological scenes, though tormented by financial difficulties. He painted William Wordsworth’s portrait in 1842. MRM was introduced to him at his London studio in the spring of 1817, and Sir William Elford was a mutual friend. He committed suicide in 1846. English painter and author (1786-1846) Published Autobiography in 3 vols. (1853) John Keats named him in several poems. --#ebb #lmw
Esqre
St. John's Place
Lisson Grove North
Regent's Park
LondonLondon, England | London | England | 51.5073509 -0.12775829999998223 | Capital city of England and the United Kingdom; one the oldest cities in Western Europe. Major seaport and global trading center at the mouth of the Thames. From 1831 to 1925, the largest city in the world.--#lmw51.5073509 -0.12775829999998223