Maintained by: Elisa E. Beshero-Bondar (ebb8 at pitt.edu) Creative Commons LicenseLast modified: 2020-07-11T10:55:02.718Z

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. 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
, June 29, 1825

Edited by Kellie Donovan-Condron.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: 1 June 2014. P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: DSCF6148.jpg, DSCF6149.jpg, DSCF6150.jpg, DSCF6151.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. 19 Coles no. 90

Quarto sheet of paper folded in half to form octavo pages. This is the first four pages of the letter. The rest is missing. Rylands Library is missing the address leaf (see note below). No seal is present.

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.
This letter is numbered "19" in the top right of the first leaf. 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 June 29th 1825..

I know not, 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
, how to thank you sufficiently for your last & kindest letter—which yet gave us great pain in the indifferent account which it contained of your health—I trust that the CircuitOxford Circuit | England | Oxford Circuit was one of six assize circuits in England and Wales. Before 1830, the Oxford Circuit consisted of the counties of Oxford, Worcester, Stafford, Salop, Hereford, Monmouth, Gloucester, and Berkshire. Judges were appointed by the monarch and traveled the Circuit twice per year to hear trials of serious crimes. Talfourd was appointed to the Oxford Circuit in 1821. --#kdc will set you quite up again—It always does—Do you come by 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? And if you do can you give us a day? I want you to see my garden in its flush of roses & lilies—& I hope we need not say that we always want to see you. Just give me one line to say yes or no—& to tell me that you are better—it will not be welcome without that—only one line mind—I will not have a long letter till you are at leisure, although what can have put it into your head that you are a bad letter writer I cannot imagine—the only possible fault of your letters would be their being too well written—& really that is so rare a fault that one puts up with it. But you have the habit of making mistakes about yourself & being astonished when people find them out, page 2
which being a still rarer fault one puts up with that also.—I rejoice at 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 "wise determination"—although there is something almost touching in the conscious infirmity of temper from whence it proceeds. I remember that Mr. CobbettWilliam Cobbett, Member of Parliament for Oldham, or: Member of Parliament for Oldham | Born: 1763-03-09 in Farnham, Surrey, England. Died: 1835-06-18 in Normandy, Surrey, England.
Politician, reformer, and journalist. Founded weekly newspaper The Political Register and also collected and published British state trials and parliamentary debates. He was frequently charged with seditious and treasonous libel because of his political writings; he supported Parliamentary reform, Catholic emancipation; and criticized the Corn Laws. He was a political supporter of Francis Burdett and John Cartwright. In a letter of 1825, Mitford compares Cobbett's character to that of William Macready: both men of headstrong passion--zealous partisans, vindictive enemies, fascinating companions--both great bullies--& as I suspect both great cowards. --#lmw
once made a similar resolution & from the same cause—but he could not hold his resolve—he had too much curiosity. By the way there are many points of resemblance between those two Worthies—both men of great power in their several ways (Mr. CobbettWilliam Cobbett, Member of Parliament for Oldham, or: Member of Parliament for Oldham | Born: 1763-03-09 in Farnham, Surrey, England. Died: 1835-06-18 in Normandy, Surrey, England.
Politician, reformer, and journalist. Founded weekly newspaper The Political Register and also collected and published British state trials and parliamentary debates. He was frequently charged with seditious and treasonous libel because of his political writings; he supported Parliamentary reform, Catholic emancipation; and criticized the Corn Laws. He was a political supporter of Francis Burdett and John Cartwright. In a letter of 1825, Mitford compares Cobbett's character to that of William Macready: both men of headstrong passion--zealous partisans, vindictive enemies, fascinating companions--both great bullies--& as I suspect both great cowards. --#lmw
much the greater of course)—both men of headstrong passion—zealous partizans, vindictive enemies, fascinating companions—both great bullies—& as I suspect both great cowards. What do you think of this parallel in the manner of PlutarchPlutarch | Born: 0045-0047 in Chaeronea, Boeotia. Died: 0119-0125 in Delphi, Phocis.
Studied at the School of Athens, and was a priest at Delphi. Most famous works are Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans or Parallel Lives and Moralia . --#kdc
? It certainly is true.—

I send you some more scraps of "Charles"Charles the First; An Historical Tragedy, in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London : J. Duncombe . 1834. . You are to know that there will be an entirely new first act (one scene of which you saw when last at Reading Reading, 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) but that the rest of the piece will be merely a rifacimento of my old play, entirely altering the tone of CromwellOliver Cromwell
Cromwell’s character in King in Mitford’s play, Charles I.--#ebb
& leaving out AliceAlice
Possibly a deleted character in Mitford's Charles I. Coles identifies the undated fragment in which Alice appears as having been written in July or August, 1823, although in her letter to Talfourd dated 9 November 1823 , Mitford indicates that she will delete the scene. The character does not appear in the final version of the play.--#kdc
altogether. page 3
The only parts quite finished are the Third & Fifth acts—most of the new bits of which I send you—The last scene might perhaps be rendered more vivid, by giving even at that moment a hope for CharlesCharles the First
King of England in Mitford’s play, Charles I.--#ebb
—bringing in FairfaxLord Fairfax
General of the Parliamentary Army in Mitford’s play, Charles I.--#ebb
sooner, & sending a messenger to save him—but whether after the scene of the scaffold, & with the known fate of the man before one's eyes, & no great Actor to bear one out it might not pass for a mere trick, or what would be worse an imitation of Mr. KnowlesJames Sheridan Knowles | Born: 1784-05-12 in Cork, Ireland. Died: 1862-11-30 in Torquay, England.
Actor and author, known as Sheridan Knowles. Friend of William Hazlitt, Charles Lamb, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. His father James Knowles was the cousin of Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Wrote William Tell for Macready. Later became a Baptist preacher. --#lmw #rnes
, I do not know. You will see I hope a sustaining of CromwellOliver Cromwell
Cromwell’s character in King in Mitford’s play, Charles I.--#ebb
, & a little improvement in CharlesCharles the First
King of England in Mitford’s play, Charles I.--#ebb
.—But it wants story terribly—If I could introduce a plot to save him—but then I am afraid of a number more of people & bad actors—& I could not bring it to any very great head, because there is no historical ground for the thing,—& having in the [del: 1 word.]old three acts plenty of materials for the two news ones—(always altering CromwellOliver Cromwell
Cromwell’s character in King in Mitford’s play, Charles I.--#ebb
as well as I can & writing up CharlesCharles the First
King of England in Mitford’s play, Charles I.--#ebb
) why I hardly think the  thingintroduction of a plot worth the trial. Do you? My firm belief is that the play ^written as it will be, would succeed if acted, but page 4
that it will not be acted—Either Charles 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
's own cowardice, or the licenser'sGeorge Colman, the Younger | Born: 1762-10-21 in London, England. Died: 1836-10-26 in 22 Brompton Square, London, England.
Son of George Colman the Elder, he produced his first play at Haymarket Theater run by his father, and later he took over the management of that theater. He was appointed by the Lord Chamberlain, the Duke of Montrose, to be the Examiner of Plays, and was known for his severe censorship of profane language. He prevented Mitford's historical tragedy Charles the First from being performed in the London Royal Theatres in the 1820s on the grounds that it was a dangerous play because of its historical authenticity in representing an unstable English government. --#ebb
qualms, will prevent the representation. I mean on account of the cant of course for as to politics, it will be a high ToryTory Party
Originally, a 17th-century insulting nickname for those who supported James II’s right to the throne of England, even though he was Catholic. The term connoted an Irish Catholic outlaw. The term was adopted by the party, which became generally affiliated with the interests of the country gentry, Anglicanism, and support of the divine right of kings. The party was loosely affiliated until the late 18th century, when William Pitt the Younger emerged as the leader of a revitalized party. The Conservative Party, founded in 1834 by Sir Robert Peel, absorbed and reorganized the Tory Party and retained the party nickname. --#kdc
play. Is ^my CromwellOliver Cromwell
Cromwell’s character in King in Mitford’s play, Charles I.--#ebb
worse than Dr. CantwellDr. Cantwell Cantwell Dr.
Title character in Bickerstaff’s comedy The Hypocrite , an adaptation of Tartuffe by Molière. --#kdc
in The HypocriteThe Hypocrite. Isaac John Bickerstaffe. Isaac Bickerstaffe Isaac John Bickerstaffe .
A satirical version of Moliere’splay, Tartuffe by Bickerstaff. --#kdc
? It will be singularly unlucky, if with three plays either of which would succeed if fairly acted, neither should come out—& yet such I fully expect to be the case.—Perhaps FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. stands the best chance. The letter on the StageLetter by Philo-Dramaticus.
Letter reprinted in the Observer on June 20, 1825 from Blackwoods. The letter is signed by Philo-Dramaticus, and urges Charles Kemble and Robert Elliston, managers of Covent Garden and Drury Lane, respectively, to resist the demands of the leading actors of the day, which Philo-Dramaticus sees as ruining the theater. The letter specifically identifies Edmund Kean, Charles Young, and William Macready. Such demands include insisting on a limited run of performances and rewrites from the authors of plays to suit the actors’ tastes. The letter refers to the changes that Macready required for Mitford’s play Rienzi.--#kdc
has been copied from BlackwoodBlackwood’s Magazine. 1817-04-1980.
Founded as a Tory magazine in opposition to the Whig Edinburgh Review.--#ebb
into the ObserverThe Observer.
Founded on December 4, 1791 by W.S. Bourne. It is the first Sunday newspaper in the world. Although its earliest years supported a conservative view, it has been generally centrist/liberal for most of its existence. --#kdc
, probably sent thither officially from C.G.T.Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, London, England | Covent Garden Theatre | Covent Garden | Westminster | London | England | 51.5129211 -0.12219759999993585 | A West End theater located in Covent Garden in the London borough of Westminster. One of the royal "patent theaters." The first theater on this site was opened in 1732 by John Rich, renovated by architect Henry Holland in 1792, and destroyed by fire on 20 Sept. 1808. The second theater, designed by Robert Smirke, opened on 18 Sept. 1809 and was managed by John Phillip Kemble. Because of rent increases by the Duke of Bedford, the landowner, J.P. Kemble increased ticket prices. This led to the "old price (or O.P.) riots" and the eventual lowering of ticket prices, although the proprietors proved they would lose money at those prices. The second theater was destroyed by fire on 5 March 1856. The third theater, designed by Edward Middleton Barry, opened in 1858 and remains at the center of today’s theater complex. The theater became the Royal Opera House in 1892 and the building was renovated and expanded in the 1980s and 1990s. --#lmw51.5129211 -0.12219759999993585[1] An abbreviation for Covent Garden Theater—#kdc & is followed by an historical extract [2] The extract, titled Venice in the Middle Ages, describes the trials and exile of Jacopo Foscari, son of Francesco Foscari, the Doge of Venice.—#kdc containing the story of the Two Foscari—with no reference to my playFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. —& perhaps accidental, but still the coincidence struck me, & I should not wonder if C. 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
reckoned on 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
for CosmoCosmo Donato
son of Senator Donato in Foscari --#ebb
, which indeed he would both look & play very beautifully—I know that 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
has in no way lost his fancy for that piece, & if Mr. YoungCharles Mayne Young, or: Mr. Young | Born: 1777-01-10 in Fenchurch Street, London, England. Died: 1856.
Actor who performed at Covent Garden and Drury Lane between 1807 and 1832. Rival of Kean. Known for his Hamlet. Written about by Washington Irving. His son wrote a memoir of him in 1871. --#lmw
would play the DogeDoge Foscari
character in Mitford’s play Foscari See also historical counterpart: Doge Foscari.--#ebb
I think it would do very well.[3] Manuscript at the Rylands Library is missing a closer. Ends at the bottom of the sheet.—#ebb