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New Letters from Charles Brown to Joseph Severn, Edited by Grant Scott and Sue Brown
Letter 38

TO JOSEPH SEVERN1

[March?] 1834

{. . .} 1834.

{. . .} about coming
{. . .} it. If
{he arrives} in time, inquire {his} name and {direct him to} my villa at Johnstone’s, the banker. Thanks for sending me Mr Darley,2 — I liked him much. When you return, you may, if you choose, take a copy with you of the tragedy.3 So many have disliked it, as a dramatic work, among whom Mr Darley is one, that I am afraid it is not so good as you and I imagine, and I do not feel so anxious as formerly to make it public. Nevertheless you may show it to whom you please. Those who have highly dispraised it are Dilke, Richards (at first reading), Landor, L. Hunt, and now Darley. These opinions have shaken my faith.

I am expecting you every day. Love to your wife and children.

Your’s most sincerely,
           {Chas Brown. }

Notes

1 Address: Al Pittore Inglese, / Il Sig. Guiseppe Severn, / No 152 Via Rasella, / Roma. Postmarks: FIRENZE; A ROM 19 MAGGI{O} 18{34}. A one page fragmentary letter clipped at the head and torn at the foot. Brown responds to Severn’s letter of 14 Mar. 1834 (Scott 333-35) asking him to come to Rome for Easter and bring his copy of "Otho the Great," the play on which Brown and Keats had collaborated, for performance by a visiting group of Cambridge Apostles led by Stafford O’Brien. The letter survives in two fragments, a damaged letter text and a clipped address sheet. Because the only legibly dated postal stamp on the address leaf is 19 MAGGI{O} 18{..}, and because 19 May seems too late for the information given in the letter text, the address sheet probably belongs to another, now missing, manuscript letter. [Return to the letter]

2 George Darley (1795-1846), poet and critic on the fringes of the Keats circle in London. In 1834 he became the Rome correspondent for The Athenaeum. See C. C. Abbott, The Life and Letters of George Darley, Poet and Critic (London: Oxford UP, 1928). [Return to the letter]

3 Brown had tried unsuccessfully to get the play performed for the first time when he was in Rome in 1823-24 (Scott 333-335). See Brown to Henry Snook, 11 Feb. 1820 (Appendix). [Return to the letter]

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Published @ RC

December 2007