July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


CHRONOLOGY; 1995; DOI: 10.1215/ed-22-chronology; CL 22: firstpage-22-xxvii-lastpage-22-xxxi


July 1847–December 1849

1847 July. TC sends money to help his brother Alexander extend his farm in Ontario (3). JWC is unwell, but reports the recent visit of the heir apparent to the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar (4). TC continues to write to Edward FitzGerald about William Squire's forged Cromwell letters. JWC has a tearful forty-sixth birthday, and TC continues preparing the third edition of The French Revolution. They stay with the Barings at Addiscombe (23–30). Printers are at work on Dr. John Carlyle's translation of Dante's Inferno.

August. TC and JWC leave by train on holiday for Matlock Bath (6). They meet W. E. Forster (13), tour the Peak District, and go on to Forster's home at Rawdon near Leeds (19). Visiting Bradford, JWC and Forster have a carriage accident (23). From Rawdon TC pays a visit to R. M. Milnes at Fryston (24–25), which Milnes returns (26–27). TC replies to Emerson about his intended visit to England (31).

September. Death of Edward Sterling (3). JWC leaves for Barnsley, to stay with Elizabeth Paulet's brother Robert Newton and family, and TC for Manchester (6), where he sees various celebrities and journalist friends, including John and Jacob Bright, and Samuel Bamford, then goes on to Scotsbrig (9–10). JWC returns to Cheyne Row (10). She consults John Forster about the manuscript of Geraldine Jewsbury's novel The Half Sisters (15), but is again unwell. Anthony Sterling calls (16). TC is idle at Scotsbrig but goes to Dumfries. Lady Harriet Baring calls at Cheyne Row to invite JWC to Addiscombe to recuperate (22). TC proposes a visit to Thomas and James Spedding near Keswick, Cumberland: he feels “another Book, and a more frightful one” rising in him (24). JWC finishes redecorating, then accompanies Lady Harriet to Addiscombe (27) for an uncomfortable holiday till 1 October.

October. TC and JWC are concerned about Mazzini's expected part in the risings in Italy. TC and his mother visit his sister Mary Austin at Gill farm (1). TC leaves Scotsbrig to join the Speddings and their guest Samuel Laurence. JWC receives company in Cheyne Row, and housecleans before TC's return (12). TC receives Laurence's lithograph of his portrait (16). He prepares to welcome Emerson at Liverpool. Emerson stays at Chelsea (25–29), then leaves for Manchester.

November. TC sends Fraser's “Thirty-five Unpublished Letters of Cromwell” (1). He writes to Varnhagen von Ense that he sees “new meanings” in Europe, and that if he “were a Prussian … I would decidedly try Friedrich” (5). TC's “Dumfries-shire Three Hundred Years ago” published in the Dumfries Courier (9). George Bancroft visits Cheyne Row. In discussing “women, poor things,” with Amalie Bölte, TC and John Carlyle are mockingly critical, she reports (as she often does) to Varnhagen (16), while JWC writes that Bölte is “all agog … with ‘the new ideas’ … against marriage” (19). JWC has received the proofs of The Half Sisters, and a new edition of TC's Miscellanies is ready (20). TC decides not to buy Satur Mill, near Ecclefechan, as a country retreat (23). He forwards a letter from Margaret Fuller to Emerson.

December. Fraser's prints the “Thirty-five Unpublished Letters,” which provokes considerable criticism. The new edition of The French Revolution is ready (1). TC comments on J. C. Hare's memoir of John Sterling (9).

1848 January. TC and JWC invited to Bay House: TC goes (12–24) and enjoys company of Milnes and Charles Buller, but JWC stays home with a bad cold, and is visited by Charlotte Wynn, Anna Jameson, and Amalie Bölte. The controversy about the Squire forgeries continues vigorously; TC and Forster write on it anonymously in the Examiner (15). TC comments on fellow guests and continues to read Sterling's Essays and Tales.

February. TC reads widely, and is usually solitary. He writes about Ireland to Aubrey De Vere (5). JWC slowly recovers. Louis Philippe is overthrown, and TC welcomes the French revolution by beginning to write newspaper articles.

March. Emerson returns to London after a Scottish tour, dines with the Carlyles (12), and often sees TC. TC's “Louis Philippe” is published in the Examiner (4); but his “Prospects of the Republic” does not appear. The Half Sisters is published, dedicated to JWC and Elizabeth Paulet. JWC reads Wuthering Heights. The Barings entertain Emerson (23). Mazzini leaves to join the Italian revolution (26). The Carlyles stay at Addiscombe.

April. TC returns to Chelsea (3); JWC stays at Addiscombe and teaches the Barings' cook to make marmalade. The Chartists present their monster petition (10). TC meets Thomas Cooper. He dines at John Forster's with Dickens and Emerson (25). His “Repeal of the Union” is published in the Examiner (29).

May. TC talks of editing a newspaper, and on one day publishes “Legislation for Ireland” in the Examiner and both “Ireland and the British Chief Governor” and “Irish Regiments (of the New Æra)” in the Spectator (13). TC begins writing to John Steill on Irish immigration and Scottish nationalism (10). W. B. Baring becomes 2d Baron Ashburton upon the death of his father (13). Events in revolutionary France continue to attract attention. Old Mr. Buller dies (17). TC writes to the viceroy of Ireland on behalf of John Mitchel (26), who is sentenced to transportation (27).

June. TC attends Emerson's lectures. JWC interviews servants for Lady Harriet (12 and 14). TC expresses increasing hostility to contemporary society and writes to Alexander Carlyle in Canada that “bad days are coming” (16).

July. TC is closely interested in affairs in France, where Gen. Cavaignac has suppressed the socialists. TC and JWC are impressed by Chopin (6 and 10). TC visits Stonehenge with Emerson (7), who embarks for the U.S.A. (15). The Carlyles' friendship develops with Joseph Neuberg (22). TC considers a house in Dumfriesshire but decides against; his writing proceeds painfully. He expresses support for nonsectarian education (28).

August. TC's “République Française” is not used by the Examiner (4). He is interested in the “organisation of labour” (14). The maid Anne Brown is to leave Cheyne Row to marry, so JWC seeks a replacement, asking Bölte (who is still reporting to Varnhagen) for help (15). TC reads John Knox in David Laing's new edition (20). He proposes a new edition of Sartor to Chapman (31).

September. TC and JWC go for a month's holiday to the Grange (1). TC supports A. J. Scott for the chair of English at University College, London (21).

October. The Carlyles return to Cheyne Row (1), where he resumes preparing the third edition of Cromwell, which is to include the Squire forgeries in vol. 2. Emerson helps John Carlyle find an American publisher for his Dante. Cholera is widespread. TC writes to Gavan Duffy (21), who is to be tried in Dublin for treason, and to Lord Clarendon in Duffy's support (27). Helen Mitchell returns to service at Cheyne Row (22).

November. TC thanks the anonymous author of Mary Barton for her novel (8), and Thomas Aird for his poems (15). Neuberg assists TC, who continues to help William Maccall. TC attends A. J. Scott's inaugural lecture (25). Charles Buller dies (29).

December. TC's obituary of Buller is published in the Examiner (2). He writes to Emerson about the best way to cook maize. Cholera has returned to Dumfries. Tennyson and FitzGerald are visitors about this time. JWC stays three days with Mrs. Buller. TC reports John's translation of Dante published (28).

1849 January. TC writes to J. P. Eckermann about his negotiations with Bunsen, the Prussian ambassador, for the purchase of a Goethe manuscript (5). He is interested in Bamford's autobiography (8). JWC has her godchild Lydia Macready to stay (13–16). Squire calls at Cheyne Row, meeting TC for the first time (23). TC tells Lady Harriet that he finds Macaulay's new History of England (vols. 1 and 2) distinctly “flat.”

February. Louis Blanc calls. The Carlyles and Forster visit Tothill Fields Prison (4). TC gives evidence before the British Museum Commission (8). TC and JWC stay with Anthony Sterling at his farm in Sussex for three nights, returning to find Helen Mitchell hopelessly drunk (19). She is dismissed.

March. JWC's visit to Addiscombe postponed. At Duffy's trial, the jury fails to agree (13). A new servant, Elizabeth Sprague, starts work. Mrs. Buller dies (14).

April. JWC stays at Addiscombe (2–9). Bölte reports more anti-feminist teasing by TC (3). He disapproves of Froude's Nemesis of Faith (4). A jury again fails to return a verdict on Gavan Duffy (13). The Spectator publishes TC's “Ireland and Sir Robert Peel” (14). TC replies to a proposal to erect a statue to Cromwell (16). Squire pays TC a second visit (19), pretending complete ignorance, and TC writes a vain request to him for even one authentic document (28).

May. JWC has been making a screen (1). Duffy is released, and visits London, where he often sees the Carlyles. The revised third edition of Cromwell goes to press. The Carlyles meet Elizabeth Gaskell again at an elaborate Dickens dinner (12). JWC has agreed to being portrayed by Laurence and by Carl Hartmann (12). TC, noting that he is “thinking of a Tour of Ireland” (27), writes about it to Gavan Duffy (29).

June. TC continues preparations for Ireland. Caroline Fox visits JWC (13). Bölte invites JWC to Germany, but she prefers Scotland. TC sits to a miniaturist, Thomas Carrick. He sails from London Bridge to join Gavan Duffy in Dublin (30).

July. JWC returns to London from visiting the Ashburtons, and entertains (3). TC arrives in Dublin (3). JWC leaves for Nottingham and the Neubergs (9). TC travels via Kilcullen (8–10), Kilkenny (10), Waterford (12), Dromana and Lismore (14), Youghal (15), and Cork, where he meets Fr. Michael O'Shea (16). JWC goes on to Rawdon (13–23), stays for the watercure at Ben Rhydding (19–20), goes to Haddington (25–26), Edinburgh and Auchtertool (27). TC continues to Killarney (18–19), Kanturk (20), Ballygiblin (21–22), Limerick (23–25), Gort (26), Tuam (27), Galway and Westport (28). He meets W. E. Forster and goes on to Ballina (29) and Sligo (30–31).

August. TC goes to Donegal and Ballyar (1), Gweedore (2), Bunbeg (3), Derry (4–6) and then via Belfast to Glasgow (6–7) and Scotsbrig. He visits friends. JWC enjoys a holiday in Auchtertool. TC recommends Margaret Fuller and her History of the late Italian Insurrection to Edward Chapman (9). JWC goes to Kirkcaldy (17); TC joins her; and they go to Linlathen to stay as guests of Thomas Erskine (27). TC leaves to join the Ashburtons in the Highlands.

September. TC stays at Glen Truim, an uncomfortable shooting lodge, while JWC returns to Haddington (3), then visits Scotsbrig (10), the Welshes at Liverpool, and Jewsbury at Manchester (18). TC returns to Scotsbrig through Edinburgh (13–14), sees Francis Jeffrey for the last time, and leaves for London (27) where JWC has been since 20th. She writes in answer to her old suitor John Stodart (30).

October. The Carlyles recover from their travels. TC writes up the visit to Ireland (4–16), and has many letters about it. His mother is ill. Thomas Spedding is invited to dinner (11).

November. Fraser's parodies TC. JWC is reading Shirley. Neuberg's offer to help TC is gladly accepted. JWC is ill.

December. TC's “Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question” is published in Fraser's. He is “scribbling daily” (1). His “Trees of Liberty” is published in the Nation (1). He evades speaking at the meeting of the Lancashire Public School Association in Manchester (12). JWC is given a dog, Nero (3).