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
Apr. 29, 1811
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Devon 1149M/F90. 4 pp. Date at top: Apr. 29, 1811
April 29th. 1811
My dear Sir
Make no apologies for your letters, for I never see the direction of one of them but with pleasure, [so as] to receive some note of kindness.
I shall really be glad of Lord Charlemont,1 as I think that it will be very possible for me to insert ^it in this No. unless the article on Dugald S.2 runs to an immoderate length, which I trust it will not. You may rely on the most rigid secrecy:—but the honest truth is, that I have not the slightest suspicions of my unknown correspondent. I was so careful of his secret, that when I found there was no time to send him the proof, I even destroyed your letter without taking the initials down: and as I cannot quite trust my memory, I must trouble you again, when time shall serve, to repeat them.
The author of the critique on Blomfield is known to me but indirectly.3 I have every reason to believe him to be the Greek Professor of Cambridge. The communication of the Art. was made to me by D'Oyly of Benet Coll who has furnished [much scratching out] two or three theological articles. He is desirous of being concealed; you will, therefore, be kind enough to keep this intimation to yourself. I should add, what indeed, I ought to have mentioned before, that when no express injunction of secrecy is laid upon me, I will at all times, give you most readily every information in my power.
The post that brought me your letter brought also one from Whitaker. It consists of a few lines only; being mostly to ask a question. I subjoin a literal transcript of what he says in the conclusion.4 "The Critique on my little Latin Work is most able, fair and manly—I do not always agree with the Writer in his Verbal Criticisms, but on the whole have very great reason not only to be satisfied but flattered by it".—my own opinion is that it is the most complete & perfect piece of criticism which we have yet given to the world.
Have you seen Mr Vaux, and will he fix on any thing. I am extremely anxious to set him to work.
Heber arrived in town last night from the plow.5
I have just had a glimpse of him: he leaves us again on Wednesday night for Yorkshire, on warlike matters. You [tear] he is a very Cincinnatus—only [tear] no Racilia to put on his [dicta]torial robes, before the oxen [tear]6
Ever, my dear Sir, your
obliged & very faithful
servt Wm. Gifford
P.S. From the date of your letter it ought to have reached me on Saturday: it came, however, but this morning.
Postmark: Apr 29 1811