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.
| [ correspondence archive main page ]
||William Gifford to Edward Copleston
Oct. 29, 1811
| [ transcription conventions ]
Devon 1149/F101. 4pp. Date at top: Oct. 29, 1811.
Octr. 29th. 1811
My dear Sir,
I regret to say that I yesterday addressed a letter to you, franked by Barrow or Croker, to Exeter; though my mind misgave me that you were at Oxford. It will reach you of course; but I fear it will be a heavy tax upon you, as it will be charged, at least double. It contained a draft for my unknown friend, which I hope you will tender to his acceptance with a thousand thanks.1
I have been unwell for some days with my old complaint, or I should have written before—however I sent Mr Davison a line yesterday, to Barnstable, (I hope he has left it, like you, for Oxford) in which I honestly expressed my opinion of his Critique.2 You will rejoice to hear that every person talks of it. I perfectly recollect the manner in which you spoke of him, and you did him but justice. In my letter, I have ventured to suggest a Greek Article, about which he once talked; but I rather wish to leave the choice to himself. You will do us a great kindness, in suggesting any work on its first appearance, which may give scope to his abilities.
I will not run the chance of repeating what you will find in my letter of yesterday, and therefore stop here.
I have very sincere pleasure in the account which you give me of your friend's kind acquiescence in my petty variations.3 The original was so good that I made them with a stumbling hand—but, as Rabelais says—pour cause.4 I hope we shall have something from him soon.
Trotter, which would have fitted him admirably, Canning found in my room several days ago, & carried it to Sunning Hill for Geo. Ellis.5 You know how charming a writer he is; but I think he shows less of the vis insita6 than your friend.
You are right as to Southey—He is, indeed, a most excellent creature. I found it necessary to omit a few personal attacks on Jeffrey & Sydney Smith, & he (Southey) tells me that he proposes, with Murray's leave, (which I will procure) to reprint the Article some little time hence with additions & sharp animadversions, in his own name.7 He is a most valuable friend.
The Article on the Bishop of Lincoln is by D'Oyly of Benet Coll. Cambridge, with a little assistance.8 D'Oyly is a good man & has lately, I see, been appointed Christian Advocate there.
I do not like the account you give of yourself. Is it a wound of which you speak? Or is the complaint with which you still labour, the consequence of your job? Pray be careful at this period of the year. One day's attendance in an open Hall at the Lottery, of which I have the management in the absence of the Chairman, demolished me completely. I am, however, recovering cheerily—Do you the same.
When you favour me with a line, I shall be obliged to you for the address of Mr Allen, (Heber's friend) I have lost his card, & do not know what College he resides at. Heber is at Hodnet with Reginald, both, up to the eyes in clover. He writes me letters about the size of my thumb, of which I am obliged to guess at the contents—reading them is quite out of the question.9
Ever, my dear Sir, your
obliged & faithful
servt Wm. Gifford