Maintained by: Elisa E. Beshero-Bondar (ebb8 at pitt.edu) Creative Commons LicenseLast modified: 2018-09-22T11:21:39.636Z

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

Letter to Thomas Noon 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
, October 22, 1821

Edited by Lisa M. Wilson.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: 26 May 2014. P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: DSCF6104.jpg, DSCF6105.jpg, DSCF6106.jpg, DSCF6107.jpg, .

Published by: Digital Mitford: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive, Greensburg, PA, USA: 2013.

Courtesy of The University of ManchesterThe John Rylands Library
The John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester holds 180 of Mitford’s letters from 1821 to 1843, including most of her correspondence to Thomas Noon Talfourd.--#ghb
.

Digital Mitford Letters: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive

Repository: The John Rylands University Library. Shelf mark: JRL English MS 665 no. 5, Coles no. 15

One sheet of folio paper, four surfaces photographed.Address leaf bearing the following postmarks: 1) black postmark, illegible, and 2) a sepia indented single rim oval stamp reading
10 o'Clock

25 OC

1821
A large 2 denoting the fee for a single-sheet letter has been written in black ink by the postal service across the address leaf.The right edge of page three is torn where wax seal was removed. Red wax seal, wrong side showing.

Hands other than Mitford's noted on this manuscript:

  • Red crayon or thick red pencil. Probably a different hand from Mitford's that marks many of her letters, sometimes drawing diagonal lines across pages, and sometimes writing words overtop and perpendicularly across Mitford's writing. On this letter, a red line is drawn from top left to bottom right of each of the leaves. On leaf six (the address leaf), two red lines are drawn from top left to bottom right over each text block.
  • Someone, apparently other than Mitford, perhaps cataloging letters and describing them, who left grey pencil marks and numbered her letters now in the John Rylands Library's collection. This letter is numbered "15" on the first leaf.
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 -0.9734518999999864Monday morningMy dear Sir,Thomas 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

I am always sinning--not quite tragical sins; & repenting--not quite perhaps with a tragical repentenace, but very sincerely & uncomfortably of the thousand faults which inconsideration & want of tact make me commit every day & almost every hour--to say nothing of my terrible tendency to say from pure flutter what I should not & what I do not mean, & not to say from sheer awkwardness what I should say & do mean.  Ever since I So that whoever comes into my company had need provide themselves with a large stock of charity & forgiveness. But this is worse than my usual misdoings. Ever since I gave you my wretched article on Friday morning, I have had the consciousness that nobody but you ought to have attempted it--especially that I should not--that being, upon occasion, as obstinate as my neighbors, I should have given the dear DoctorRichard Valpy, Doctor of Divinity (DD), Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (FSA), or: Dr. Valpy | Born: 1754-12-07 in St. John’s, Jersey, Channel Islands. Died: 1836-03-28 in Reading, Berkshire, England.
Richard Valpy (the fourth of that name) was the eldest son of Richard Valpy [III] and Catherine Chevalier. He was born on December 7, 1754 at St. John’s, Jersey, Channel Islands. He was a friend and literary mentor to Mary Russell Mitford. He matriculated at Pembroke College, Oxford University on April 1, 1773, aged eighteen, as a Morley scholar. He received from Oxford a B.A. (1776), M.A. (1784), B.D. & D.D. (1792). He took orders in the Church of England in 1777. Richard Valpy served as Second Master at Bury School, Bury, Huntindonshire from 1771 to 1781, and was also collated to the rectory of Stradishall, Suffolk, in 1787. He became the Headmaster at Reading School, Reading, Berkshire, in 1781 and served until 1830, at which time he turned the Headmastership over to his youngest son Francis E. J. Valpy and continued in semi-retirement until his death in 1836. During his tenure as Headmaster of Reading Grammar School for boys over the course of fifty years, he expanded the boarding school and added new buildings. He is the author of numerous published works, including Greek and Latin textbooks, sermons, volumes of poetry, and adaptations of plays such as Shakespeare’s King John and Sheridan’s The Critic. His Elements of Greek Grammar, Elements of Latin Grammar,,Greek Delectus and Latin Delectus, printed and published by his son A. J. Valpy, were all much used as school texts throughout the nineteenth century. Valpy’s students performed his own adaptations of Greek, Latin, and English plays for the triennial visitations and the play receipts went to charitable organizations. Valpy enlisted Mitford to write reviews of the productions for the Reading Mercury. In 1803, his adaptation of Shakespeare’s King John was performed at Covent Garden Theatre. Richard Valpy was married twice and had twelve children, eleven of whom lived to adulthood. His first wife was Martha Cornelia de Cartaret; Richard and Martha were married about 1778 and they had one daughter, Martha Cartaretta Cornelia, born 1779. His first wife Martha died about 1780 and he married Mary Benwell of Caversham, Oxfordshire on May 30, 1782. Together they had six sons and five daughters and ten of their eleven children survived to adulthood. Richard Valpy and Mary Benwell’s sons were Richard Valpy (the fifth of that name), Abraham John Valpy, called John; Gabriel Valpy, Anthony Blagrove Valpy; and Francis Edward Jackson Valpy. His daughters were Mary Ann Catherine Valpy; Sarah Frances Valpy, called "Frances" or "Fanny"; Catherine Elizabeth Blanch Valpy; Penelope Arabella Valpy; and Elizabeth Charlotte Valpy, who died as an infant. Richard Valpy died on March 28, 1836 in Reading, Berkshire, and is buried in All Souls cemetery, Kensal Green, London. Dr. Valpy’s students placed a marble bust of him in St. Lawrence’s church, Reading, Berkshire, after his death. John Opie painted Dr. Valpy’s portrait. See . --#ebb #lmw
a touch of my quality, instead of taking the post assigned me so quietly & really checking 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
when with a much better taste & feeling he tried to get me off. I only thought at the moment how shabby it would be to turn over a disagreeable occupation to you, quite forgetting that the subject & the schoolReading School, Reading, Berkshire, England | Reading | Berkshire | England | 51.4486089 -0.9542480999999725 | Public grammar school originally founded as a Reading Abbey school, which dates to 1125, located in Reading. Dr. Richard Valpy was headmaster from 1754 to 1836 and was then succeeded by his son. Talfourdwas a pupil there. Mitford wrote reviews for the Reading Mercury of the plays performed there by the pupils as part of the triennial Oxford School Visitations.--#lmw51.4486089 -0.9542480999999725 & the charm of writing of ReadingReading, Berkshire, England | Reading | Berkshire | England | 51.4542645 -0.9781302999999753 | County town in Berkshire, in the Thames valley at the confluence of the Thames and the River Kennet. The town developed as a river port and in Mitford’s time served as a staging point on the Bath Road and was developing into a center of manufacturing. Mitford lived here with her parents from 1791 to 1795, on Coley Avenue in the parish of St. Mary’s and attended the Abbey School. The family returned to Reading from 1797 to about 1804, after which they relocated to Bertram House. They frequently visited Reading thereafter from their homes at nearby Bertram House, Three Mile Cross and Swallowfield. Mitford later used scenes from Reading as the basis for Belford Regis; or Sketches of a Country Town.--#lmw51.4542645 -0.9781302999999753 & for ReadingReading, Berkshire, England | Reading | Berkshire | England | 51.4542645 -0.9781302999999753 | County town in Berkshire, in the Thames valley at the confluence of the Thames and the River Kennet. The town developed as a river port and in Mitford’s time served as a staging point on the Bath Road and was developing into a center of manufacturing. Mitford lived here with her parents from 1791 to 1795, on Coley Avenue in the parish of St. Mary’s and attended the Abbey School. The family returned to Reading from 1797 to about 1804, after which they relocated to Bertram House. They frequently visited Reading thereafter from their homes at nearby Bertram House, Three Mile Cross and Swallowfield. Mitford later used scenes from Reading as the basis for Belford Regis; or Sketches of a Country Town.--#lmw51.4542645 -0.9781302999999753 would have made it almost as pleasant ^as it would have been to you   delightful to every body, everybody else--How could I be so foolish & presumptuous!page 2
  When I found by your condescending note how much trouble you had taken--& that you still had another account to write & not for ReadingReading, Berkshire, England | Reading | Berkshire | England | 51.4542645 -0.9781302999999753 | County town in Berkshire, in the Thames valley at the confluence of the Thames and the River Kennet. The town developed as a river port and in Mitford’s time served as a staging point on the Bath Road and was developing into a center of manufacturing. Mitford lived here with her parents from 1791 to 1795, on Coley Avenue in the parish of St. Mary’s and attended the Abbey School. The family returned to Reading from 1797 to about 1804, after which they relocated to Bertram House. They frequently visited Reading thereafter from their homes at nearby Bertram House, Three Mile Cross and Swallowfield. Mitford later used scenes from Reading as the basis for Belford Regis; or Sketches of a Country Town.--#lmw51.4542645 -0.9781302999999753--I was more ashamed & more angry with myself (& this is saying much) than ever I was in my life. Well the dear DoctorRichard Valpy, Doctor of Divinity (DD), Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (FSA), or: Dr. Valpy | Born: 1754-12-07 in St. John’s, Jersey, Channel Islands. Died: 1836-03-28 in Reading, Berkshire, England.
Richard Valpy (the fourth of that name) was the eldest son of Richard Valpy [III] and Catherine Chevalier. He was born on December 7, 1754 at St. John’s, Jersey, Channel Islands. He was a friend and literary mentor to Mary Russell Mitford. He matriculated at Pembroke College, Oxford University on April 1, 1773, aged eighteen, as a Morley scholar. He received from Oxford a B.A. (1776), M.A. (1784), B.D. & D.D. (1792). He took orders in the Church of England in 1777. Richard Valpy served as Second Master at Bury School, Bury, Huntindonshire from 1771 to 1781, and was also collated to the rectory of Stradishall, Suffolk, in 1787. He became the Headmaster at Reading School, Reading, Berkshire, in 1781 and served until 1830, at which time he turned the Headmastership over to his youngest son Francis E. J. Valpy and continued in semi-retirement until his death in 1836. During his tenure as Headmaster of Reading Grammar School for boys over the course of fifty years, he expanded the boarding school and added new buildings. He is the author of numerous published works, including Greek and Latin textbooks, sermons, volumes of poetry, and adaptations of plays such as Shakespeare’s King John and Sheridan’s The Critic. His Elements of Greek Grammar, Elements of Latin Grammar,,Greek Delectus and Latin Delectus, printed and published by his son A. J. Valpy, were all much used as school texts throughout the nineteenth century. Valpy’s students performed his own adaptations of Greek, Latin, and English plays for the triennial visitations and the play receipts went to charitable organizations. Valpy enlisted Mitford to write reviews of the productions for the Reading Mercury. In 1803, his adaptation of Shakespeare’s King John was performed at Covent Garden Theatre. Richard Valpy was married twice and had twelve children, eleven of whom lived to adulthood. His first wife was Martha Cornelia de Cartaret; Richard and Martha were married about 1778 and they had one daughter, Martha Cartaretta Cornelia, born 1779. His first wife Martha died about 1780 and he married Mary Benwell of Caversham, Oxfordshire on May 30, 1782. Together they had six sons and five daughters and ten of their eleven children survived to adulthood. Richard Valpy and Mary Benwell’s sons were Richard Valpy (the fifth of that name), Abraham John Valpy, called John; Gabriel Valpy, Anthony Blagrove Valpy; and Francis Edward Jackson Valpy. His daughters were Mary Ann Catherine Valpy; Sarah Frances Valpy, called "Frances" or "Fanny"; Catherine Elizabeth Blanch Valpy; Penelope Arabella Valpy; and Elizabeth Charlotte Valpy, who died as an infant. Richard Valpy died on March 28, 1836 in Reading, Berkshire, and is buried in All Souls cemetery, Kensal Green, London. Dr. Valpy’s students placed a marble bust of him in St. Lawrence’s church, Reading, Berkshire, after his death. John Opie painted Dr. Valpy’s portrait. See . --#ebb #lmw
is fitly punished in the abominable badness of my report, & so am I. I have a good mind to apologize to the poor boys in the next paper for cheating them of your valuable praise. You must write a Magazine Article to console them. In the mean time meantime I could not resist the opportunity of asking your pardon afforded by our sending 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
a basket of roots & flower seeds & such underground treasures the announcement of which you had the goodness to convey. She will of course think my note contains more last words of FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. . Do not notice it even to say you forgive me--I am so ashamed.

Did I beg you to tell Mr. MacreadyWilliam Macready
English actor (1793-1873) Born London, died Cheltenham. Appeared at Covent Garden and Drury Lane. Appeared in Sheridan Knowles’s William Tell (1825) and Bulwer-Lytton’s Money (1840) --#lmw
that I should willingly & thankfully make any & every alteration that he might suggest in FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. , in case, which I do not expect, he should deem it worth altering. I have just finished my new copy & am more & more conscious that the part is utterly unworthy of his great powers. He might to be sure be everything to the play as he was to  FoscariWallaceWallace: an historical tragedy in five acts. Charles E. Walker . London: John Miller. 1820.
Performed at Covent Garden in November 1820; William Macready performed the title role. Mitford’s 1821 October 22 letter to Talfourd suggests that Macready’s performance guaranteed the success of the play.--#lmw
--my usual consolation when I think of the badness of FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. --but that is too much to ask. Perhaps there is more opportunity for an Actor in the DogeDoge Foscari
character in Mitford’s play Foscari See also historical counterpart: Doge Foscari.--#ebb
--at least he might make that part which could hardly be done in FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. . But this page 3
must of course be left to him & you. I [Gap: 2 word, reason: torn.][thank you] very much for the report of Mr. QualeMr. Quayle Mr. Quale
Mentioned in Mitford’s letters of November 6 and 16 1821 as a friend willing to help in Mitford’s theatrical aspirations. Surname spelled in the letter of November 16 as Quale. Forename unknown. Not identified in Coles. Needs further research. --#lmw
--& re[Gap: 9 chars, reason: torn.][ly wholly ] on his zeal & kindness. But I have very lit[Gap: 9 chars, reason: torn.][tle hope.] Since this last weary copying, I am come [Gap: 1 word, reason: torn.][back] to my original opinion of the general feeb[Gap: 6 chars, reason: torn.][leness] of the PlayFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. --Just as I had done PapaGeorge 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
told m[Gap: 4 chars, reason: torn.][e of]the "sweets & dears"--Shall I write it over [Gap: 1 word, reason: torn.][again] to get quit of them? Or shall we wait to [Gap: 1 word, reason: torn.][hear] whatMr. MacreadyWilliam Macready
English actor (1793-1873) Born London, died Cheltenham. Appeared at Covent Garden and Drury Lane. Appeared in Sheridan Knowles’s William Tell (1825) and Bulwer-Lytton’s Money (1840) --#lmw
says? As soon as I was to s[Gap: 10 chars, reason: torn.][end this I] found it out--just as in the case of the "own [Gap: 1 word, reason: torn.] Really my stupidity is hopeless. How you can you h[Gap: 3 chars, reason: torn.][ave] such patience with me--Such indulgence such [Gap: 1 word, reason: torn.][great] kindness I cannot imagine. I don't think I sha[Gap: 2 chars, reason: torn.][ll] attempt the "Euripedean Enterprise"--Oh it is [Gap: 1 word, reason: torn.][quite] quite above me--I shall leave that to your Tragedy--& beguile my hopes & fears for FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. . (Did not I say just now that I had no hope?) by the soothing & sedative properties of needlework the most composing & quieting occupation in the world. Luckily I have a dozen jobs that cry out to be done. It is almost--not quite--worthwhile to be a woman to have such a resource.

Did I--was I bold enough to ask you when we were talking of your article on HomerHomer
Considered the first and greatest epic poet; In Mitford’s time, considered to be the historical author of the Illiad and the Odyssey, although early Greek and Roman historical records such as those in Herodotus and pseudo-Herodotus are contradictory as to details of his life and work. --#ncl
& I was wishing so much to see it--did I ask you to lend it to me? And will you? And that on the Greek Tragedians if it comes your way? Will you? I want to read a translation of Sophocles
(ca. 496 BC-406 BC) Born in Colonus (near Athens) Greece and died in Athens. Sophocles is best known for his cycle of Oedipus plays, and particularly the tragedy Oedipus Tyrranus (otherwise known in Latin or English forms as Oedipus Rex, or Oedipus the King). As an Athenian citizen, Sophocles held many roles, such as serving on the treasury, leading the paean (choral chant), serving as a a strategoi (armed forces official); and was a junior colleague of Pericles. --#lmw #cmm
Mr. BurgessMr. Burgess
A "Mr. Burgess" who recommended a particular volume of Sophocles’ plays to MRM, mentioned in her letter to Talfourd of Nov. 12-13 1821 .--#lmw
recommended one in French prose--but French prose--will not English be better? And pray when you saw that astonishing thing about my writing a Comedy--(in which we seemed mutually to amuse each other) did you mean it quite, really? Or was it only page 4
a very pretty way of saying "I don't think, Madam, that "you will ever make much of Tragedy"--?

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
is going to the DoctorRichard Valpy, Doctor of Divinity (DD), Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (FSA), or: Dr. Valpy | Born: 1754-12-07 in St. John’s, Jersey, Channel Islands. Died: 1836-03-28 in Reading, Berkshire, England.
Richard Valpy (the fourth of that name) was the eldest son of Richard Valpy [III] and Catherine Chevalier. He was born on December 7, 1754 at St. John’s, Jersey, Channel Islands. He was a friend and literary mentor to Mary Russell Mitford. He matriculated at Pembroke College, Oxford University on April 1, 1773, aged eighteen, as a Morley scholar. He received from Oxford a B.A. (1776), M.A. (1784), B.D. & D.D. (1792). He took orders in the Church of England in 1777. Richard Valpy served as Second Master at Bury School, Bury, Huntindonshire from 1771 to 1781, and was also collated to the rectory of Stradishall, Suffolk, in 1787. He became the Headmaster at Reading School, Reading, Berkshire, in 1781 and served until 1830, at which time he turned the Headmastership over to his youngest son Francis E. J. Valpy and continued in semi-retirement until his death in 1836. During his tenure as Headmaster of Reading Grammar School for boys over the course of fifty years, he expanded the boarding school and added new buildings. He is the author of numerous published works, including Greek and Latin textbooks, sermons, volumes of poetry, and adaptations of plays such as Shakespeare’s King John and Sheridan’s The Critic. His Elements of Greek Grammar, Elements of Latin Grammar,,Greek Delectus and Latin Delectus, printed and published by his son A. J. Valpy, were all much used as school texts throughout the nineteenth century. Valpy’s students performed his own adaptations of Greek, Latin, and English plays for the triennial visitations and the play receipts went to charitable organizations. Valpy enlisted Mitford to write reviews of the productions for the Reading Mercury. In 1803, his adaptation of Shakespeare’s King John was performed at Covent Garden Theatre. Richard Valpy was married twice and had twelve children, eleven of whom lived to adulthood. His first wife was Martha Cornelia de Cartaret; Richard and Martha were married about 1778 and they had one daughter, Martha Cartaretta Cornelia, born 1779. His first wife Martha died about 1780 and he married Mary Benwell of Caversham, Oxfordshire on May 30, 1782. Together they had six sons and five daughters and ten of their eleven children survived to adulthood. Richard Valpy and Mary Benwell’s sons were Richard Valpy (the fifth of that name), Abraham John Valpy, called John; Gabriel Valpy, Anthony Blagrove Valpy; and Francis Edward Jackson Valpy. His daughters were Mary Ann Catherine Valpy; Sarah Frances Valpy, called "Frances" or "Fanny"; Catherine Elizabeth Blanch Valpy; Penelope Arabella Valpy; and Elizabeth Charlotte Valpy, who died as an infant. Richard Valpy died on March 28, 1836 in Reading, Berkshire, and is buried in All Souls cemetery, Kensal Green, London. Dr. Valpy’s students placed a marble bust of him in St. Lawrence’s church, Reading, Berkshire, after his death. John Opie painted Dr. Valpy’s portrait. See . --#ebb #lmw
's dance tonight--he sent me a very kind invitation on Saturday--but I stay away from pure cowardice--I really cannot encounter Mrs. CulpepperMartha Carteretta Cornelia Straker Valpy, or: Mrs. Culpepper | Born: . Died: .
Dr. Valpy’s eldest daughter by his first wife, Martha Cornelia de Cartaret. Martha Carteretta Cornelia Valpy was born in late 1779 and baptized 16 November 1779 at St Mary’s, Suffolk. She was married twice; first to Thomas James Straker, esq. of Barbados on May 3, 1804 at St. Lawrence, Reading, Berkshire, England , and second to William Alleyn Culpeper of Barbados (second of that name) at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster on November 21, 1815 . Mitford spells her married name as Culpepper in her journal and letters. Burke’s Family Records erroneously lists her name as Carteretta Cornelia. Her date of death is unknown; more research is needed.--#ebb #lmw #scw
. I wonder if they won't prevail on you to stay.--My fingers are so cramped with writing that they slide every way but the right--Good bye. God bless you--pray forgive me.


Ever your'syoursM.R. Mitford.Mary 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


Pray excuse all my blots & blunders--I had better not have written. but I could not help it--

To T. N. 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
Esqre.
No. 1. Pump CourtPump Court, Temple, London, England | Temple | London | England | 51.5129777 -0.11061770000003435 | Thomas Noon Talfourd’s address in London, in the Temple district; Mitford addressed letters to him at 1 Pump Court. Pump Court is west off Middle Temple Lane, north of the Inner Temple.--#ebb #err #lmw51.5129777 -0.11061770000003435
Temple.Temple, London, England | Temple | London | England | 51.5123032 -0.1110459000000219 | District in central London, traditional location for barristers’ chambers and other offices for legal practice, with its four Inns of Court. The Inner Temple, one of the four Inns of Court, was responsible for training and licensing barristers. Talfourd had chambers in this neighborhood, although not in the Inner Temple, and Mitford addressed letters to him there.--#ebb #err51.5123032 -0.1110459000000219