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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
, [11 May] 1825

Edited by Lisa M. Wilson.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: 22 May 2014. P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: DSCN1172.JPG, DSCN1173.JPG, DSCN1174.JPG, DSCN1175.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. 18 Coles no. 87

Sheet of paper folded in half to form four pages, with correspondence on 1-3 and address leaf on page 4, then folded in thirds twice more and sealed for posting.Address leaf bearing four postmarks, three illegible: Coles has "Postmarks (the first two partly illegible): 13 MY 1825; T P; 2; a fourth postmark is illegible" (87). Sepia-inked oval Delivery stamp reading
13 MY 1825A large 2 denoting the fee for a single-sheet letter has been written in black ink by the postal service across the address leaf.A portion of page 3 has been torn away under the seal.Red wax seal, partially intact.

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.
18Three 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 -0.9734518999999864WednesdayMy dear friend—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. 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

I have had the kindest of all kind letters from Mr. KembleCharles Kemble | Born: 1775-11-25 in Brecon, South Wales. Died: 1854-11-12 in England.
British actor, the younger brother of John Phillip Kemble and Sarah Siddons. Although he was considered by some to be as fine an actor as his sister and brother, he mostly appeared in secondary rather than leading roles. Father of Frances Kemble. One of the co-proprietors of Covent Garden Theatre . He served as Examiner of Plays in the early nineteenth-century, reviewing plays for licensing by the Lord Chamberlain. --#lmw
from his sick room, offering to give Mr. FitzharrisMr. Fitzharris Fitzharris Mr.
An Irish actor who began his career in Reading before going to London. He played the title role in Othello in both Reading and London, and appeared the following season (1826) as the Sentinel in Pizarro at Covent Garden. Reviews of his London performances in the New Monthly Magazine and The Literary Gazette and Journal of Belles Lettres from 1825 and 1826 were very unfavorable, indicating that his voice and presence were not sufficiently robust to sustain major roles in London. Mitford saw him perform in Othello at Reading. She was impressed with his talents and he later created the role of Celso in Charles the First. In an 1867 letter to L'Estrange (reprinted in The Literary Life of the Rev. William Harness), Harness mentions Fitzharris as a failed protege of Mitford's (279). --#kdc #lmw
a trial early next season and promising to do all he possibly can to forward his views in London,London, 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 & expressing himself very desirous to see my play which is too late of course for this season—You cannot think how kind & friendly the letter is—I shall of course do my very best with "Charles"Charles the First; An Historical Tragedy, in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London : J. Duncombe . 1834. —because I really think if we could make a successful play of that that Mr. EllistonRobert William Elliston, or: Mr. Elliston | Born: 1774 in London, England. Died: 1831.
English actor and theater manager. Managed Drury Lane and and other theaters. Mentioned in the writings of Leigh Hunt, Byron, and Macready. --#lmw
would then wish to take RienziRienzi; a Tragedy, in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London : J. Cumberland . 1828.
There appears to be no printed edition of Rienzi authorized by Mitford upon its first performance in 1828. The first printed edition of the play appears in the J. Cumberland series Cumberland's British Theatre.--#lmw
—But I have as always had my doubts of CharlesCharles the First; An Historical Tragedy, in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London : J. Duncombe . 1834. —I shall do my best though my very best—& (I am going to make a strange admission) I would give the whole profits of my last editionOur Village: Sketches of Rural Character and Scenery. Volume III. [volume three]. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. & W. B. Whittaker . 1828. [2] Coles proposes that Mitford here refers to her latest edition of Our Village, the third (Coles 87, note 1).—#lmw (whatever they may be for I don't know) that is to say all that I am worth in the world to know really & truly what Mr MacreadyWilliam Charles Macready | Born: 1793-03-03 in London, England. Died: 1873-04-27 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.
English actor, one of the most prominent tragedians of his era. He appeared at Covent Garden and Drury Lane Theatres in London and also toured the United States. He appeared in Sheridan Knowles's William Tell, Byron's Sardanapolus, and Bulwer-Lytton's Money (1840), as well as in many Shakespearean roles. He also managed both Covent Garden and Drury Lane Theatres. In his role as actor-manager, Macready was a correspondent and collaborator with Mary Russell Mitford. The first play on which they worked was Mitford's Julian. Mitford dedicated to Macready the print edition of Julian: To William Charles Macready, Esq., with high esteem for those endowments which have cast new lustre on his art; with warm admiration for those powers which have inspired, and that taste which has fostered the tragic dramatists of his age; with heartfelt gratitude for the zeal with which he befriended the production of a stranger, for the judicious alterations which he suggested, and for the energy, the pathos, and the skill with which he more than emhodied its principal character; this tragedy is most respectfully dedicated by the author. Macready retired from the stage in 1851. --#lmw
's plan was with regard to that Tragedy.Rienzi; a Tragedy, in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London : J. Cumberland . 1828.
There appears to be no printed edition of Rienzi authorized by Mitford upon its first performance in 1828. The first printed edition of the play appears in the J. Cumberland series Cumberland's British Theatre.--#lmw
I am aware that I might just as well wish for the moon—It is however a great comfort & relief to me that the play hadpage 1
it been ready three months ago could not have come out this season (without superseding poor Mrs BayleyMrs. Bayley Bayley Mrs.
Mrs. Bayley, spouse of Peter Bayley. After his sudden death in 1823, she arranged to publish his poems posthumously and to have performed and published his tragedy Orestes in Argos. Forename unknown. More research needed.--#lmw
'sOrestes in Argos; a Tragedy in Five Acts, by the late Peter Bayley, Esq.. Peter Bayley . London: Thomas Dolby. 1825.
After his sudden death in 1823, Peter Bayley’s wife arranged to have his work performed at Covent Garden and then published.--#lmw
which of course I would not have done)[3] Mitford here refers to Peter Bayley's tragedy Orestes in Argos, first performed at Covent Garden on 25 April 1825. Bayley died suddenly on 25 January 1823, and his widow arranged for the posthumous publication of a volume of poetry and the performance and publication of his tragedy.—#lmw—& now I shall have time to do the best I can with it and then I promise you I will go heartily to work at the NovelThe Heiress. Mary Russell Mitford.
Projected novel by Mary Russell Mitford, apparently never completed. Coles posits that this work was later incorporated into Atherton (1854) (Coles 87, p. 450, note 3)--#lmw
. I am quite ashamed at the utter prostration of mind & faculty in which I have remained since the winter—It is a weakness so wrong, so much against conviction and necessity as to be almost wickedness—but I will do better if God grant me a continuance of health & strength—I am ashamed of myself to have waited so many months in lamentation.—Have we any chance of seeing you at Whitsuntide?—Could not you come down on the Sunday & dine here? It would be such a comfort.—I have seen more of this young Fitzharris,Mr. Fitzharris Fitzharris Mr.
An Irish actor who began his career in Reading before going to London. He played the title role in Othello in both Reading and London, and appeared the following season (1826) as the Sentinel in Pizarro at Covent Garden. Reviews of his London performances in the New Monthly Magazine and The Literary Gazette and Journal of Belles Lettres from 1825 and 1826 were very unfavorable, indicating that his voice and presence were not sufficiently robust to sustain major roles in London. Mitford saw him perform in Othello at Reading. She was impressed with his talents and he later created the role of Celso in Charles the First. In an 1867 letter to L'Estrange (reprinted in The Literary Life of the Rev. William Harness), Harness mentions Fitzharris as a failed protege of Mitford's (279). --#kdc #lmw
& continue to like his warmth of heart his modesty & [gap: 1 word, reason: smudged.][his] frankness—although there is a great deal about him that is most abominably Irish & a sad want of literature.

I am going to see him tonight in OthelloOthello. William Shakespeare. William Shakespeare Shakespeare William . & shall not finish my letter till I can give my opinion, such as it is, of his performance—There certainly is extraordinary feeling in some of his touches.

page 2

Wednesday Night—I am just [gap: 1 word, reason: smudged.][returned] from OthelloOthello. William Shakespeare. William Shakespeare Shakespeare William . & have been more struck more astonished more charmed than ever I was in my life—There is as much difference between this young manMr. Fitzharris Fitzharris Mr.
An Irish actor who began his career in Reading before going to London. He played the title role in Othello in both Reading and London, and appeared the following season (1826) as the Sentinel in Pizarro at Covent Garden. Reviews of his London performances in the New Monthly Magazine and The Literary Gazette and Journal of Belles Lettres from 1825 and 1826 were very unfavorable, indicating that his voice and presence were not sufficiently robust to sustain major roles in London. Mitford saw him perform in Othello at Reading. She was impressed with his talents and he later created the role of Celso in Charles the First. In an 1867 letter to L'Estrange (reprinted in The Literary Life of the Rev. William Harness), Harness mentions Fitzharris as a failed protege of Mitford's (279). --#kdc #lmw
in  Othellothe play & in the StrangerThe Stranger. Kotzebue. as between ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare | Born: 1564-04 in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, England. Died: 1616-04-23 in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, England.
Early modern era actor, theater manager, poet, and playwright. Part owner of playing company The Lord Chamberlain's men and author or co-author of thirty-eight plays. Considered the greatest English dramatist and Britain's national poet. Mitford wrote in the Introduction to her Dramatic Works: I had grown up--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
& KotzebueAugust Friedrich Ferdinand von Kotzebue | Born: 1761-05-03 in Weimar, German confederation. Died: 1819-03-23 in Mannheim, German confederation.
Author and diplomat. Kotzebue was a prolific playwright. Charles Kemble adapted many of his comedies and melodramas for the English stage. He was assassinated by a nationalist liberal student in 1819. Prince Metternich exploited Kotzebue's death to encourage the German confederation to further restrict academic freedoms and freedom of the press. --#lmw
—His OthelloOthello
character in Othello --#lmw
is splendid magnificent—full of passion tenderness & power—That he must one day be at the very head of his profession seems to me certain—that he will make an immediate hit almost certain—but he says that he does not know a creature in 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 & is frightened to death of the thought of going there next season. I wish you had been at the Reading TheatreReading Theatre, Reading, Berkshire, England | Reading | Berkshire | England | Theater in Reading. Exact location unknown. More research needed.--#lmw tonight because I am sure of your judgement & very doubtful of my own—but there is a sort of excellence which no one with any feeling can mistake—& besides I have seen KeanEdmund Kean | Born: 1787-11-04 in Westminster, London, England. Died: 1833-05-15 in Richmond, Surrey, England.
Considered one of the greatest actors of Mitford's era; known for performing tragedy, including original interpretations of Shakespearean roles such as Shylock. Performed in London at Drury Lane. Kean also toured the United States and Canada. --#lmw #rnes
in the part— FitzharrisMr. Fitzharris Fitzharris Mr.
An Irish actor who began his career in Reading before going to London. He played the title role in Othello in both Reading and London, and appeared the following season (1826) as the Sentinel in Pizarro at Covent Garden. Reviews of his London performances in the New Monthly Magazine and The Literary Gazette and Journal of Belles Lettres from 1825 and 1826 were very unfavorable, indicating that his voice and presence were not sufficiently robust to sustain major roles in London. Mitford saw him perform in Othello at Reading. She was impressed with his talents and he later created the role of Celso in Charles the First. In an 1867 letter to L'Estrange (reprinted in The Literary Life of the Rev. William Harness), Harness mentions Fitzharris as a failed protege of Mitford's (279). --#kdc #lmw
's OthelloOthello
character in Othello --#lmw
seems to me less terrible than his but far grander—far more an excuse for DesdemonaDesdemona
character in Othello --#lmw
's choice—& his fine deep [gap: 1 word, reason: torn.][voice] holds out to the very last amidst [gap: 2 words, reason: torn.][all the] tumult of three acts of strong [gap: 1 word, reason: torn.][passions]—The only thing that he seems to me to want is the faculty of expressing bitterness & scorn—the venom is not in him—for which on Rienzi'sCola di Rienzi
character in Rienzi.--#ebb
account I am heartily sorry—He is a ShakespeareanWilliam Shakespeare | Born: 1564-04 in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, England. Died: 1616-04-23 in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, England.
Early modern era actor, theater manager, poet, and playwright. Part owner of playing company The Lord Chamberlain's men and author or co-author of thirty-eight plays. Considered the greatest English dramatist and Britain's national poet. Mitford wrote in the Introduction to her Dramatic Works: I had grown up--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
Actor—best in the best. How I wish you could page 3
have seen him. Of course I shall not mention his playing RienziCola di Rienzi
character in Rienzi.--#ebb
till we see how he succeeds—Nor should it stand in the way of other chances—but if he does make a hit I am quite sure of his good feeling.—God bless you My dear friendThomas 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


Ever most sincerely your's yours,
M.R.M.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 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


Kindest regards from all here to dear Mrs. TalfordRachel Rutt Talfourd, or: Mrs. Thomas Talfourd | Born: 1793 in London, England. Died: 1875-02-12 in Margate, Kent, England.
The eldest daughter of John Towill Rutt, she married Thomas Noon Talfourd in 1822 . Coles observes that Talfourd secured a position through Henry Crabb Robinson to write legal reports for The Times to afford this marriage. Coles cites Vera Watson’s two-part Times’ Literary Supplement piece of April 20 and April 27, 1956, Thomas Noon Talfourd and His Friends for more information (Coles p. 193, note 2). 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. In 1837, they lived at 56 Russell Square, St. George, Bloomsbury. On May 1, 1843, Rachael and the five children were all baptized into the Church of England. After the death of her husband, she lived at Margate, Kent, where she died on February 12, 1875. --#ajc #ebb #lmw
as well as yourself.page 4

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
Esqre
2 Elm Court, Temple, London, England | Temple | London | England | 51.51292076052162 -0.11087179183959961 | Street in the Temple area of London. Mitford addressed letters to Talfourd at 2 Elm Court, Temple in the 1820s. Elm Court is located off Middle Temple Lane, just north of Inner Temple, the traditional location of barristers’ chambers in London. --#lmw51.51292076052162 -0.11087179183959961Elm Court
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 -0.1110459000000219Temple