527.  EBB to Mary Russell Mitford

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 3, 174.

74 Gloucester Place

Friday morning. [3 June 1836] [1]

My dear Miss Mitford,

I send you the little book. [2] I have been disappointed in not being able to have it bound in time: but I wish that its worst fault were on its outside!

In ending these happy days, [3] you must let me thank you for allowing me to join together two ideas, each of them precious in its kind .. of an admired writer .. and a dear friend: & for allowing me to call them Miss Mitford. I thank you for this rather than for your personal & touching kindness to me—because it is easier.

May God bless you & make you happy in your re-union to those dearest to you. You were so kind—I shd not have dared to ask it—as to speak of writing to me. Will you write to me dear Miss Mitford, before I write to you: and will you do so as soon as you can spare a thought from the nature & affection to which you go, for the least important things of London?——

Your affectionate & obliged

E B Barrett.

Address, on integral page: Miss Mitford.

Publication: EBB-MRM, I, 1.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Dated by Miss Mitford’s visit to London.

2. Probably Prometheus Bound.

3. The day of Miss Mitford’s departure from London after her visit of 25 May–3 June. During Miss Mitford’s visit, John Kenyon, their mutual friend, had introduced EBB to her. Recounting the meeting in a letter of 27 May (SD799) to her father, Miss Mitford said EBB “reads Greek as I do French, and has published … some striking poems. She is a delightful young creature; shy and timid and modest. Nothing but her desire to see me got her out at all.” Besides attending a literary dinner at Kenyon’s on 28 May, at which Landor and Wordsworth were present, the two also visited the Diorama, the Zoological Gardens, the British Gallery, and the Duke of Devonshire’s Gardens at Chiswick. For the development of EBB’s friendship with Miss Mitford, see pp. 319–321. (In this note, and some others relating to the series of letters to Miss Mitford, we have drawn on material researched by Meredith B. Raymond and Mary Rose Sullivan for their book The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Mary Russell Mitford 1836–1854. We here record our debt to their scholarship.)


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