January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


CHRONOLOGY; 1990; DOI: 10.1215/ed-16-chronology; CL 16: firstpage-16-xxi-lastpage-16-xxvi



1843 January. TC continues to write Past and Present, mainly putting aside his work on Cromwell. John Sterling dangerously ill at Falmouth. Tennyson visits Cheyne Row with Edward Moxon. 16: JWC borrows French novels from the London Library in Erasmus Darwin's name, and (19) attends a Corn Law lecture with Mazzini, their frequent visitor. She also continues to write to Geraldine Jewsbury and Elizabeth Paulet about Jewsbury's feminist novel Zoe, and, on TC's suggestion, invites Jewsbury to stay.

February. Thackeray and Edward FitzGerald visit. 6: Geraldine Jewsbury arrives. JWC is godmother to Lydia Jane Macready. Her uncle John Welsh is seriously ill at Liverpool. 22: the first part of Past and Present, a “red hot indignant thing” (as TC tells Sterling), is sent to the printer. By the 24th JWC is annoyed at the length of Jewsbury's stay.

March. JWC is pleased to find that Mazzini, Darwin, and Elizabeth Pepoli do not like Jewsbury. TC attends Charles Lyell's lectures on geology (7–31), and finishes Past and Present (8). JWC visits the Chinese exhibition; TC hears Wellington speak in the House of Lords (9): he complains about the neighbors' piano playing; and (11) Jewsbury finally leaves. TC arranges American publication of Past and Present with Emerson. He sits for his portrait by John Linnell. 19: Jewsbury calls again. 24: Gambardella returns from Liverpool with his portrait of John Welsh; and TC writes about public distress and JWC's private charity. Thackeray and FitzGerald dine with them. 25: JWC sits for her portrait by Gambardella. TC briefly speaks at the first public meeting of John Robertson's Society of Authors. 29: JWC decides to keep her servant Helen Mitchell.

April. 5: TC and JWC attend a party at Edwin Chadwick's. 7: Lord Jeffrey and William Empson call. 11: the printer “finishes” Past and Present. 12: Jewsbury, temporarily “a vile creature,” visits briefly. To JWC's irritation John Carlyle arrives to stay. 16: John Sterling's mother, Hester, dies, then (18) his wife, Susannah, in childbirth; his father, Edward, looks to JWC for support. 21: copies of Past and Present are sent to reviewers, family, and friends. 29: Alexander Carlyle (later TC's editor) born at Ecclefechan. 30: JWC dines and quarrels with Edward Sterling.

May. TC declines joining the Society of Authors and has been learning Danish and reading Norse sagas. 6: TC and JWC dine with Forster. 10: TC cancels a visit to Naseby with FitzGerald and starts work on “Dr. Francia.” John Sterling visits London in mid-May, having decided to move to Ventnor with his children, and gives JWC Tieck's Vittoria Accorombona. TC praises Dickens's Association for the Protection of Literature (to protect copyrights) but refuses involvement. JWC searches for a post as governess for Amalie Bölte. 22: JWC meets the “immensely large” and witty Lady Harriet at the Bullers' and is charmed by her, while TC entertains Samuel Gridley and Julia Ward Howe. 24: TC attends a soirée of the Prussian ambassador Bunsen.

June. TC writes “Dr. Francia” and (14) sends Alexander £250 to help him emigrate. JWC is concerned about Mazzini's health and looks for work for two daughters of the destitute Mudie family. Jewsbury is restored to favor for being a regular correspondent, even without replies from JWC. TC continues to help Alexander, who (25) sets sail with his family from Liverpool to New York.

July. TC begins his summer excursion by visiting Julia Strachey at Clifton. 4: JWC visits Greenwich with Edward Sterling and (5) begins supervising alterations and painting at home. TC visits Chepstow, then (6) sails to Cardiff for a holiday with Charles Redwood at Llandough. 14: JWC's 42d birthday; she has a visit from Kitty Phillips (b. Kirkpatrick). 15: Forster pays £50 for “Dr. Francia” for the July Foreign Quarterly Review. 16: Arthur Helps and Darwin call. 17: TC visits Dr. Connop Thirlwall, bishop of St. David's, at Carmarthen, passing tollgates destroyed by Rebeccaite rioters. A situation is found in Manchester for Juliet Mudie. 21: TC goes to Liverpool via Gloucester and Worcester, Cromwellian battle sites. Mazzini tells JWC of projected risings in Italy. 24: TC hears Father Mathew speak to thousands at Liverpool; and (26–30) visits North Wales, where he climbs Snowdon with John Carlyle.

August. On TC's return he and John visit the Paulets and Jewsbury at Seaforth House. 3: TC sails for Annan. 5: JWC is deeply impressed by Father Mathew at one of his meetings in London and (8–12) visits the Isle of Wight with Edward Sterling, where she encounters bedbugs, only to find bugs and fleas on returning home. TC stays in Annandale, with his family, until the end of the month, when John returns to Cheyne Row, and JWC finds Bölte work as a governess for the Bullers' young Theresa Revis.

September TC leaves Dumfries and visits Grace Welsh's grave on his way to Edinburgh. 2: he calls on Jeffrey and David Laing, then goes to Haddington to visit the Miss Donaldsons; and (3) walks to Dunbar and back to see the battlefield. 5: While staying with the Ferguses at Kirkcaldy, he bruises himself in a fall when riding. 9: he visits Edinburgh where he meets Dr. Samuel Brown and James Dodds at John Gordon's; breakfasts with Jeffrey (10) and returns to Kirkcaldy. 11: he visits Thomas Erskine at Linlathen, Dundee. Letters arrive from Alexander in Canandaigua, N.Y. 15: TC sails from Dundee and returns home to admire JWC's improvements; but (28), disturbed once more by piano-playing, decides that his room must be moved, and work on the house begins again.

October. TC restlessly restarts work on the Cromwellian period, while JWC suffers from dealing with the alterations. American visitors call, sent by Emerson. 30: barrels of supplies arrive from Scotsbrig. 31: TC tells Emerson that his “Book on Cromwell, is impossible,” but he “must” write it.

November 11: Alexander's letter arrives to say that he has “entirely renounced whisky.” Mazzini is still unwell. Elizabeth Mudie is dismissed. Henry James, Sr., calls. JWC has flu.

December. TC immersed in Cromwell. Elizabeth Paulet sends JWC caricatures of Jewsbury. 5: TC takes the great decision to burn many of his recent notes about the Cromwellian period and to collect Cromwell's letters and speeches before writing a biography or history. He and John Carlyle arrange to pay their sister Janet £10 each a year. Dickens sends Carlyle his A Christmas Carol, and JWC passes it on to John Welsh (23). Charles Redwood sends a Christmas hamper. 26: JWC attends Nina Macready's birthday party at which Forster dances wildly with her and Dickens performs as a conjurer.

1844 January. 1: Mazzini “first foots” JWC. 7: Henry James, Sr., and relatives call. Jewsbury sends the revised Zoe, and JWC feels that “the present state of Cromwell is almost more than flesh and blood can bear.” Anna Jameson stays a night (26) at Cheyne Row. William Coningham buys a sketch or picture by Raphael for £1,000. JWC's cousin James Baillie calls; Mazzini tells JWC about further Italian risings; TC receives £32 for American sales and sends Emerson $121 for his British sales.

February. 2: TC dines at the Monteagles'. 15: he applies for permission to consult the records of the City of London. Edward Sterling is quieter since reemployed in writing for the Times; JWC often drives out in his carriage. She admires the revised Zoe. TC questions David Laing, Henry Cole, and Edward FitzGerald about Cromwell. 19–22: William Fraser brings a suit against a former friend for seducing Mrs. Fraser, which he loses; JWC furious with him. 24: JWC takes the MS of Zoe to Chapman & Hall and visits Mrs. Fraser.

March. 2: Elizabeth Rigby is greatly impressed by the Carlyles. 3: JWC visits Mrs. Fraser. An Italian rising in Calabria is easily suppressed. 17: JWC calls on Chapman & Hall; Zoe is accepted. Alexander and his family leave Alton, N.Y., for Brantford, Canada.

April. 1: TC receives a further £36 from U.S. sales. 4: John Sterling is dangerously ill after breaking a blood vessel. 12: Colin and Helen Mackenzie (who later find TC “a warm-hearted genial friend”) call. Both Carlyles visit the Chinese exhibition; JWC dines at Jean Cunningham's with the Mackenzies and sees “General Tom Thumb” with Charlotte Sterling. 21: Jeffrey and Empson call at the same time as Plattnauer; Mrs. Fraser calls; James Baillie writes from a debtors' prison.

May. JWC is concerned about Garnier's insanity. 7: the Carlyles visit H. F. Chorley, where Browning and the Howitts are present. 8: TC notes, “My progress in‘Cromwell’ is frightful”; he meets Edward Everett, U.S. ambassador; and (12) attends a meeting for the Society for Improvement of the Labouring Classes. Amalie Bölte stays at Cheyne Row before going as a governess to Lady Graham. Edward Sterling takes JWC to Euston to say farewell to Jeffrey, who is ill. TC writes to gather Cromwell's letters. 27: Caroline Fox calls and enjoys TC's talk. 30: John Sterling is still dangerously ill.

June. JWC plans a visit to Liverpool. 14: The opening of Mazzini's letters on orders of the home secretary, Sir James Graham, is raised in the Commons; and (18) TC writes to the Times about it. 24: JWC goes to Liverpool. 25: TC calls on Mrs. Buller and Bölte (dismissed by Lady Graham) and on Lady Harriet; and (26) sees an exhibition of old masters. He sends JWC Punch cartoons of Sir James. 27: JWC visits Hale and Speke Hall with her uncle, and (30) TC visits the Barings at Addiscombe.

July. 1: TC returns to London. 2: another debate in the Commons about Mazzini's letters. 5: Gambardella takes JWC and her cousins on a picnic. 6: TC refuses an invitation to a Burns festival in Ayrshire. JWC goes to Chester and Eaton Hall; and (7) TC visits Addiscombe for the day to enjoy aristocratic company, including Lady Holland's. 8: Though unwell, JWC stays with the Paulets at Seaforth, where she is joined by Jewsbury. 10: TC and Milnes visit the exhibition of cartoons at Westminster Hall. 11: JWC is angry at Jewsbury's jealousy; and (15), when riding, her horse bolts. 15: She meets James Martineau and his wife and (16) returns to Liverpool. 18: Mazzini calls on TC and talks of the Bandiera brothers' capture. 20: JWC cancels a visit to Jewsbury; (21) calls on James Martineau; and (23) returns to London. 25: the Bandiera brothers are executed; the mother of the Welshes' servant Margaret is murdered.

August. 1: TC accepts that Sterling is dying; and (10) Sterling writes his farewells. 11: TC visits Addiscombe; and G. L. Craik, at JWC's request, tracks Plattnauer to a lunatic asylum. Progress on Cromwell is still slow. 20: JWC visits the asylum and (26) collects Plattnauer. Sterling returns their letters and some books. 27: TC sends a farewell letter; but (30) Sterling declines to see him. TC writes “An Election to the Long Parliament.”

September. 10: TC stays at the Grange with the Ashburtons and Barings, where he proofreads “An Election.” JWC refurbishes the house. TC complains about the dullness of the party except for himself and Lady Harriet. 13: The Grange party goes to Winchester. 18: John Sterling dies, leaving TC and Julius Hare as his literary executors. 19: TC returns to London. 20: Plattnauer leaves for the Continent; Mrs. Paulet calls on George Sand with an introduction by Mazzini arranged by JWC. TC arranges for Henry James, Sr., to return to Emerson his letters to Sterling. Proofs arrive from America for a British edition of Emerson's Essays, Second Series.

October. 1: “An Election” appears in Fraser's, and TC recommences Cromwell, working on the letters and speeches; he asks about international copyright for John Chapman and proofreads some of Emerson's Essays. 2: the Paulets call on their return; and (4) JWC goes to town with her. James Carlyle, at Scotsbrig, is looking for a new farm to lease. 10: Tennyson pays an “unforgettable” visit.

November. Anthony Sterling's wife, Charlotte, believes that he is in love with JWC. Harriet Martineau attributes her recovery to mesmerism. James Carlyle is to stay at Scotsbrig after all. Emerson's Essays are published with TC's prefatory notice. 12: JWC is worried about Jewsbury, but Zoe is being printed. TC teases JWC as a “destroyer of the peace of families,” since Bessie Helps is also jealous. Supplies arrive from Scotsbrig.

December. TC's cousin Marion McKinnon has died. 3: TC attends Dickens's reading of The Chimes at Forster's. 13: JWC is scathing about Martineau and mesmerism. TC receives a copy of Goethe's death mask from Ary Scheffer. 25: TC gives JWC a cloak; the Ashburtons have sent game, and Redwood a Christmas hamper.