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Letter 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. A native of Reading, Talfourd was educated at the Reading’s newly-established Mill Hill school, a dissenting academy, from 1808 to 1810. He attended Dr. Richard Valpy’s Reading School from 1810 to 1812. His career in law began with a legal apprenticeship with Joseph Christy, special pleader, in 1817. He was called to the bar in London in 1821 and 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 #ebb
, November 9, 1821

Edited by Lisa M. Wilson.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: 27 May 2014. P5. . .

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

Reproduced by courtesy of the The John Rylands University Library.

Digital Mitford Letters: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive

Repository: The John Rylands University Library. Shelf mark: JRL English MS 665 no. 5 Coles no. 18

Folio sheet of paper folded in half to form four quarto pages, with correspondence on 1-3, then folded in thirds twice more.

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. Updated schema lines and added this change-log. This letter still needs to be proofed against the 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 Friday night My dear Sir

Again & again I thank you for your exquisite kindness. I have just received  Mr your packet from Mr. NewberryJacob Newberry
According to Francis Needham, a solicitor. Coles identifies him as “Jacob Newberry, attorney, of 35 Great Queen Street Lincoln’s Inn Fields [London] and Friar Street, Reading" ( #17, p. 109, note 32) --#scw #lmw
, & have read Mr. Macready'sWilliam 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
letter with the hopeful spirit that you desire & with the truest gratitude to him & to you. His discovery of the sex of the unlucky writer made me laugh in spite of my vexation—I believe I could as soon pass myself for 6 feet high as write two lines which should be taken for a man's composition. Nevertheless I have great confidence in his exertions—the greatest—the most undoubting—& I am heartily glad to be rid of those puny sources of interest, on which one can never feel any real or comfortable reliance. With 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
& You the PlayFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. page 2
will have every possible chance that its own weakness will allow it—far more than it deserves. I shall immediately begin the new Catastrophe. Must there not be an entirely new fifth Act? Some part of the scene with the DogeDoge Foscari
character in Mitford’s play Foscari See also historical counterpart: Doge Foscari.--#ebb
may remain—but the opening of the scene with CosmoCosmo Donato
son of Senator Donato in Foscari --#ebb
& that with Camilla Donato
daughter of Senator Donato in Mitford’s play Foscari --#ebb
Camilla, must not these be new as well as the conclusion? Or will a little altering & modifying do? He must [del: .] have taken the poison before the beginning of the Act—And can we make him be sleeping so quietly afterwards? [del: .] And there must be through all his speeches a dark concealed consciousness of the coming death—I am afraid it must be quite new—but I will do my very best & 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
& you can decide—you shall certainly have it by the middle of the week after next. I wonder what Lord ByronGeorge Gordon Noel Byron, sixth Baron Byron | Born: 1788-01-22 in Holles Street, London. Died: 1824-04-19 in Missolonghi, Greece.
--
's Catastrophe is! We should steer clear of that at all events. But we shall have plenty to chuse choose page 3
out of that is one comfort. I was not in the least disappointed, or disconcerted (except at that terrible "evidently a lady's") by 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
's opinion of the PlayFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. —mine has always been much lower—really much lower—not a mere piece of affectation to be contradicted or to look modest but an unfeigned & settled impression—I was therefore not in the least surprised or startled at that—but astonished & delighted beyond measure at the zeal & energy with which he takes up the cause—this of course proceeds entirely from his friendship for you—& the kind interest which you have the goodness to take in my poor FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. —Oh you have no notion with what a delightful feeling of assurance I rely, not as you bid me on him only, but on him & you.—If we reduce the DogeDoge Foscari
character in Mitford’s play Foscari See also historical counterpart: Doge Foscari.--#ebb
's part so much I suppose we must retain the old title—But that will be time enough to consider. by & bye.—Once more a thousand thanks & regards & good wishes from all


Ever most gratefully yoursMRMitford.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—