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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
, September 14, 1820

Edited by M. Stephanie Murray.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: 4 June 2013. P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: 14Sept1820BRHaydon1.jpg, 14Sept1820BRHaydon2.jpg, 14Sept1820BRHaydon3.jpg, 14Sept1820BRHaydon4.jpg, .

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

Reproduced by courtesy of the Reading Central LibraryReading Central Library The principal archive of Mary Russell Mitford’s personal papers and related documents, holding approximately 1,000 manuscripts and a nearly comprehensive collection of her publications.
The principal archive of Mary Russell Mitford’s personal papers and related documents, holding approximately 1,000 manuscripts and a nearly comprehensive collection of her publications.--
.

Digital Mitford Letters: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive

Repository: Reading Central Library. Shelf mark: qB/TU/MIT Vol. 4 Horizon No.: 1361550 ff. 415

One sheet of paper, two surfaces photographed. No address leaf. No seal.

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. Added note to end about fragmentary state of this letter. Updated header and added back list. Proofed against ms.
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 -0.9734518999999864 Sept. 14th 1820. My dear SirBenjamin 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

My FatherGeorge Mitford, Esq., or: George Midford | Born: 1760-11-15 in Hexham, Northumberland, England. Died: 1842-12-11 in Three Mile Cross, Shinfield, Berkshire, England.
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
has begun a negociationnegotiation respecting the greyhounds the issue of which I shall know before I finish this letter & will then tell you the particulars—I am so sorry that they should inconvenience you—So sorry that we should not ourselves have room for them—So sorry that just now when you have so well earned every sort of pleasure, one so simple & so pure should be taken from you. These regrets are very useless—but one cannot help feeling them.—

Do not commit such a mistake as to fancy your hand writing illegible—I can read it as well as print—The Characters are peculiar but the moment one knows them by heart one reads them as easily as a scholar reads Greek. Oh my dear Mr. 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
if only you were but to see some of the young-lady Correspondences which page 2
befall one sometimes—a full sheet of foolscap twice crossed in a hand all Ms & Ns—a series of ups & downs which defy guessing—I was forced to turn off a cousin of my own a delightful woman whose letters had but one fault that of being wholly unintelligible from beginning to end—nothing could be prettier looking than her hand only it was utterly unreadable. Never think of calling that writing of yours which [del: .]shewsshows so plainly the rapidity & energy of your spirit, a scrawl—with what a delightful hieroglyphic you eked it out in your stage IagoIago
Character in Othello. --#lmw
! I have seen KeanEdmund Kean
English actor (1787-1833). English actor. Considered the greatest actor of his era. Born Westminster, London --#lmw
both in OthelloOthello
character in Othello --#lmw
& IagoIago
Character in Othello. --#lmw
, & I felt like you his terrible power in the former. To see KeanEdmund Kean
English actor (1787-1833). English actor. Considered the greatest actor of his era. Born Westminster, London --#lmw
in OthelloOthello
character in Othello --#lmw
is a very painful pleasure. If I may say it without danger of being suspected of affectation I must confess that I do not much like acted plays. KeanEdmund Kean
English actor (1787-1833). English actor. Considered the greatest actor of his era. Born Westminster, London --#lmw
is disappointing & unequal—& KembleJohn Phillip Kemble | Born: 1757. Died: 1823.
British actor, member of Kemble acting clan, brother of Sarah Siddons and Charles Kemble. --#lmw
was cold—& one loses all the sweetness & poetry of those delicious plays in these great theatres where nothing but the coarser strokes tell—In short it is altogether owing to my intense love & admiration  of for ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare | Born: 1564-04 in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, England. Died: 1616-04-23 in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, England.
Renaissance-era actor, theater manager, poet, and playwright. Part owner of playing company The Lord Chamberlain’s Men and author or co-author of 38 plays. Considered the greatest English dramatist and Britain's national poet. Mitford wrote in the Introduction to her Dramatic Works: It is the privilege of English people to grow up [ . . . ] in the worship of Shakespeare, and many of his favourite scenes I literally knew by heart. --#lmw
& the old Dramatists that page 3
I never desire to see a favorite play acted. Did you ever read two plays by Thomas May the Historian of the Long Parliament which I wonder Mr.HazlittWilliam Hazlitt | Born: 1778-04-10 in Maidstone, Kent, England. Died: 1830-09-18 in Soho, London, England.
Essayist and critic, acquaintance of Mary Russell Mitford. Author of Table Talk (1821) and The Spirit of the Age (1825). Also authored collections of critical essays such as Characters of Shakespeare (1817), A View of the English Stage (1818), and English Comic Writers (1819). In a letter of 2 October 1820 , Mary Russell Mitford writes of Hazlitt to their mutual friend Haydon, He is the most delightful critic in the [world]-- puts all his taste, his wit, his deep thinking, his matchless acuteness into his subject, but he does not put his whole heart & soul into it [. . . ] What charms me most in Mr. Haslitt is the beautiful candour which he bursts forth sometimes from his own prejudices [ . . . ] I admire him so ardently that when I begin to talk of him I never know how to stop. I could talk on for an hour in a see saw of praise and blame as he himself does of Beaumont & Fletcher & some of his old [favourites]. --#lmw #cmm
did not mention —The Heir & The Old Couple? They are as sweet & beautiful as a May morning.—Do you read the Scotch Novels? Have you read the AbbotThe Abbot. Walter Scott. London Edinburgh: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown Archibald Constable and Company, and John Ballantyne. 1820.
Historical novel: One of Scott’s series of Tales from Benedictine Sources, The Abbot introduces the character Roland Graeme, and renders the experiences of Mary, Queen of Scots during her imprisonment and escape from Loch Leven Castle in 1567 .--#ebb
? Do you like it? I was disappointed beccause every alternate work has been excellent, & as the MonasteryThe Monastery. Walter Scott. was bad I expected this to be very good—[del: .] after all it is ungrateful to impute as a fault the failure of one's own too high expectations—It is very pleasant reading though not a work that would have made a reputation like WaverleyWaverley; or ’Tis Sixty Years Since. Walter Scott. Archibald Constable. 1814. or Old MortalityOld Mortality. Walter Scott. . The real fault lies in the subject. Mary Queen of ScotsMary Stuart | Born: 1542-12 in Linlithgow Scotland . Died: 1587-02-08 in Stirling .
Mary, Queen of Scots was executed by the order of Queen Elizabeth I, against whom she was supposed to have conspired. She was succeeded by her son, James I, the first Stuart king of England and Scotland.--#rnes
is a person of whom in spite of her sins we have dreamt all our life long. There is not a man of any imagination who has not made her romance in his own mind long before now—The BodleianOxford University, Bodleian Library
83 letters from MRM to Thomas Noon Talfourd.--#ghb
MaryMary Stuart | Born: 1542-12 in Linlithgow Scotland . Died: 1587-02-08 in Stirling .
Mary, Queen of Scots was executed by the order of Queen Elizabeth I, against whom she was supposed to have conspired. She was succeeded by her son, James I, the first Stuart king of England and Scotland.--#rnes
full of beauty & grace—the love of men the envy of women—She who makes possible all that has been feigned of nymph of Goddess therepage 4
is no writing up to what one fancies of her.—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
has tried & AlfieriVittorio Alfieri, Count | Born: 1749-01-16 in Asti, Piedmont region, Italy. Died: 1803-10-08 in Florence, Italy.
Credited with reviving Italian tragedy in the eighteenth century, Alfieri's plays included Filippo, Polinice, Antigone, Virginia,and the highly acclaimed Saul. He also authored an ode on American Independence and a satirical poem, The Antigallican, on the French Revolution. --#ebb
& both have failed—but I think Sir Walter Scott'sWalter Scott | Born: 1771-08-15 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Died: 1832-09-21 in Abbotsford, Scotland.
Scottish antiquarian, poet, and novelist. Also worked as clerk of the Court of Session in Edinburgh. He assembled a collection of Scottish ballads, many of which had never before been printed, in Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, first published in 1802, but continually expanded in revised editions through 1812 . Author of the long romance poems, The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), Marmion (1808), and The Lady of the Lake (1810). From 1814-1831, Scott published 23 novels, and over the course of his literary career, he wrote review articles for the Edinburgh Review, The Quarterly Review, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, and the Foreign Quarterly Review.--#ebb #esh
failure the most egregious of any—He takes the VenusVenus
Roman goddess of love and beauty; her counterpart in Greek mythology is Aphrodite.--#lmw
down from her pedestal & makes her scold—he disenchants the Lady DulcineaDulcinea del Toboso
Name of idealized female character in Don Quixote (who is mentioned in the text but never appears). Proverbial for an ideal woman.--#lmw
—he lets the glaring daylight into the magic lantern & puts out the dreamy pictures—Now this is not a friends office—nor a Poets—This is another fault too—All the plot that is not of Queen MaryMary Stuart | Born: 1542-12 in Linlithgow Scotland . Died: 1587-02-08 in Stirling .
Mary, Queen of Scots was executed by the order of Queen Elizabeth I, against whom she was supposed to have conspired. She was succeeded by her son, James I, the first Stuart king of England and Scotland.--#rnes
is filled by a twin brother & sister confusion, like that of ViolaViola
Character in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.--#lmw
& SebastianSebastian
Character in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.--#lmw
in Twelfth NightTwelfth Night. William Shakespeare. 1601.
A late dark romantic comedy in Shakespeare’s oeuvre, with first recorded production in February 1602.--#ebb
—& let the Edinburgh ReviewEdinburgh Review, second series.
Quarterly political and literary review founded by Francis Jeffrey, Sydney Smith, Henry Brougham, and Francis Horner in 1802 and published by Archibald Constable in Edinburgh. It supported Whig and reformist politics and opposed its Tory and conservative rival, The Quarterly Review. Ceased publication in 1929.--#lmw
ers say what they willWalter ScottWalter Scott | Born: 1771-08-15 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Died: 1832-09-21 in Abbotsford, Scotland.
Scottish antiquarian, poet, and novelist. Also worked as clerk of the Court of Session in Edinburgh. He assembled a collection of Scottish ballads, many of which had never before been printed, in Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, first published in 1802, but continually expanded in revised editions through 1812 . Author of the long romance poems, The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), Marmion (1808), and The Lady of the Lake (1810). From 1814-1831, Scott published 23 novels, and over the course of his literary career, he wrote review articles for the Edinburgh Review, The Quarterly Review, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, and the Foreign Quarterly Review.--#ebb #esh
at the side of ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare | Born: 1564-04 in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, England. Died: 1616-04-23 in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, England.
Renaissance-era actor, theater manager, poet, and playwright. Part owner of playing company The Lord Chamberlain’s Men and author or co-author of 38 plays. Considered the greatest English dramatist and Britain's national poet. Mitford wrote in the Introduction to her Dramatic Works: It is the privilege of English people to grow up [ . . . ] in the worship of Shakespeare, and many of his favourite scenes I literally knew by heart. --#lmw
cuts no better a figure than ReynoldsJoshua Reynolds, Sir | Born: 1723-07-16 in Plympton, Devon, England. Died: 1792-02-23 in Leicester Fields, London, England.
The most celebrated and sought-after English portrait painter of the second half of the eighteenth century; he was the first President of the Royal Academy of Arts. His Discourses, lectures given on art and later printed, were highly influential on the art and aesthetics of his time.--#lmw
by the side of VandykeAnthony van Dyck, Sir, or: Antoon van Dyck , Anthony van Dyke | Born: 1599-03-22 in Antwerp, Spanish Netherlands. Died: 1641-12-09 in London, England.
Flemish portrait painter who became celebrated in England for his portraits of Charles I and his court. His style greatly influenced English portrait painting until well into the eighteenth century. In one of her letters, Mitford compares him analagously to Shakespeare.--#lmw
. Nevertheless the book is pleasant and free from his peculiar faults as from his striking beauties—only one old hag—no fortune scene—no prophecy & no ghost. How sorry I am to hear so bad an account of Mr. KeatsJohn Keats | Born: 1795-10-31 in Moorgate, London. Died: 1821-02-23 in Rome. !—When I write to Miss JamesElizabeth Mary James | Born: 1775 in Bath, Somerset, England. Died: 1861-11-25 in 3 Pembroke Villas, Richmond, Surrey, England.
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
I will mention your kind permission to send me his book. I am delighted that you were pleased with her letter—she is a sweet &[1] The rest of this letter is missing.—ebb