This resource provides a detailed chronology of Mary Shelley's life and work, as well as several contemporary reviews of her novels and of a play inspired by Frankenstein.
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||William Gifford to Edward Copleston
Jan. 9, 1811
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Jany 9th. 1811
My dear Sir
On Sunday Evening1 Heber brought me your welcome letter; which I should have acknowledged immediately had I not been desirous of ascertaining the fate of Roscoe before I wrote. I believe that I told you G. Ellis had taken him up; Geo. however, was so busy with Huskisson2 & so merry with Sir John,3 that this minor culprit escaped. I wrote to Sunning Hill on Monday, & have this instant recd an answer. He is well content to cede him to your friend,4 & I heartily wish that this had been done at first. I should regret it still more had not Roscoe's Evil Genius urged him to collect his tracts in the interim, & thus to afford us a further prisé on him. I asked George what his plan was, & this is his reply "My idea was to couple him with Goldsmith, who has challenged him as he has Lord Grey; to treat him with some quiet ridicule, and to shew that he is in general a very pitiful politician—to give him credit for a spirited attack on Lord Grey's plan of economical warfare: this I thought would be safe and serviceable." He then repeats that he shall be glad to see an attack on him by a volunteer &c. In this situation, I must beg of you to apply to your friend once more, and I heartily wish you may prevail on him to undertake it for the present No. I thank you for the mention of French literature. I should, indeed, be glad of some assistance in it.
I come now to your friendly attention to Falconer;5 you have much improved his essay, and your Introductory matter is very good indeed, & to the purpose. I really feel myself deeply obliged to your kindness and beg you to accept my sincere acknowledgments.
I shall be glad to receive your Article on our good friend Whitaker6 whose critique on Chalmers marks a powerful and discriminating mind. Nares, not much to his credit as a man of literature—admitted into a former No. of the British Critick, an illiberal piece of imbecility on the Dr's work, which quite disgusted me.7
Heber, who is truly what you stile him, our excellent friend, & whose zeal [seal tear] [and ac]tivity, are above all praise—is, [seal tear] [ ? ? ] "a jew an Ebrew jew8 [seal tear] in hand so long about going [seal tear] Oxford, and taking a line to Mr Davison for me9, that I put off writing till I was shamed to write at all; and now he tells me, that gentleman is not to be found at Oxford. Here again, I must beg you to step in, and if you see Mr Davison to intreat that he will "banish Poins, banish Bardolph, banish Heber; but not honest Jack Falstaff"10 who is not much to blame in this case, and think of something for us with his earliest leisure. Your congratulations are very welcome to me:—with your assistance, with the University on our side, which, I hope, it will cordially be, what may we not look forward to! It consoles though it vexes me to see the Edin. people who insult these Establishments unable to produce a learned Article which is not derived from them. With the truest esteem, I am
ever, my dear Sir, your obliged
& faithful servt
Address: For / The Revd. E. Copleston / Oriel Coll. / Oxford
Postmark: Jan. 9, 1811.