402. Joseph Weston to Hannah Bloomfield, 10 April 1825*
April 10th 1825
Dear Miss Bloomfield
Mr Baldwin sent your Mothers account accompanied by a note expressing a wish to communicate with me before he could make up his statement of the 'remains'—I accordingly went to him on Friday afternoon and had a long conference on the subject of your affairs. I was sorry to find in spite of all our efforts, the whole of the Works have had of late a very dull sale. The 'Remains' have not yet paid the expense of publication. There are almost 400 or 500 of the Farmers Boy in stock which will not suffice for the demand till the copyright of that work expires—but Mr Baldwin says that it would not answer to publish it again in the present form because as soon as the copyright has expired it will be printed by others in two different forms—first in a highly embellished and expensive form, which has now become very fashionable in other works, and secondly in a cheap edition to sell at about a pr volume.
He says that this ought to be anticipated by those who have an interest in the works & that he would have no objection on his own part—and thinks the rest of those who share in the copyright would also be willing to join the family in publishing in both these ways but that as the expence will be so considerable & as their share is so small (viz an eighth) and as they have already advanced so much beyond their receipt he should not be willing to advance money for the family and moreover that as the periods of copyright on the 'rural Tales' & 'Wild Flowers' (the only selling books) will expire so soon after he thinks it advisable to publish the whole of these works in the same manner—and that if the family are unable to raise means for the purpose it would perhaps be better to sell their copyrights than to let their interest in the works perish for want of properly sustaining it.
I told him he might if he pleased send in a proposition to me, which should include the whole of the copyright & the whole of the stock of all the works already published, with all the contingencies belonging to them—that I thought you would be influenced by what I might think of the terms and that if they seem'd to me fair and liberal, I should submit them to the consideration of the family.—
This he promised to do, and I have thought it right to give you timely intimation in order that you may consult together and well consider the subject—If a wish exists in the family to part with the copyrights, it can be done now on terms (I suppose) quite as advantageous as at any previous time, and there may seem to be an additional motive in the circumstances stated by Mr Baldwin and in the destitute condition of the family.
I have stated these matters as clearly as I can, without presuming to advise either one way or the other, and remain yours truly
Mr Beneson has the original