January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


CHRONOLOGY; 1993; DOI: 10.1215/ed-19-chronology; CL 19: firstpage-19-xxv-lastpage-19-xxx


January 1845–June 1847

1845 January. TC goes on with his decision to edit Cromwell's letters and speeches before writing his biography. JWC comments on a possible life of John Sterling, and continues to see Captain Anthony Sterling in spite of his wife's insane jealousy, which is slowly subsiding. TC reports his health “not bad,” but Jane is “a prisoner” in the house with a heavy cold (21). Tennyson calls and talks to JWC “like an angel” while TC is out.

February. TC's brother Alexander continues establishing himself as a farmer in Ontario, and TC keeps up his correspondence with the rest of the family in Dumfriesshire. Old friends, such as Sterling, Tennyson, Mazzini, Erasmus Darwin, and the mentally disturbed Richard Plattnauer, continue to visit. Browning, Edward FitzGerald, and John Harland are among several who help with Cromwell, which three publishers show an interest in publishing. Chapman & Hall agree to an edition of 1250 copies for £300; Carey & Hart, of Philadelphia, are to bring out the Miscellanies with TC's frontispiece portrait by Samuel Laurence; TC's Life of Schiller is to be republished; but JWC feels that Cromwell is “lasting too long for his strength” (21). She reports on the reception of Geraldine Jewsbury's Zoe (26).

March. JWC writes with amusement of Geraldine Jewsbury's short but passionate affair with John Robertson. Anna Maurice dies, and part of Cromwell is already in the printers' hands (25).

April. The Jewsbury-Robertson affair comes to an end (5). JWC sympathizes with Mazzini after a new attack on him by Sir James Graham, who eventually has to apologize. She receives visits from Count D'Orsay, Lord Jeffrey (13), and others; and she reports an appeal from a “seduced Lady” and taking a lost child to the police station (24). She and TC are visited by the M.P. Frederick Lucas and members of the Young Ireland party, including Charles Gavan Duffy, TC's “sworn disciples” (26).

May. TC uses David Laing, John Harland, Robert Chambers, and FitzGerald to help with research on Cromwell. Gavan Duffy proposes to send TC the Nation each week (12). TC is extremely busy with his various projects. He writes to J. P. Eckermann about part of the manuscript of Goethe's Faust (31).

June. TC acquires a new horse, Bobus, and resumes regular riding. JWC's guests include Amalie Bölte and an insufferable Edinburgh cousin, John Welsh. John Carlyle leaves for Edinburgh; TC's printers are into the second volume of Cromwell (10). TC refuses to put his name to a proposed republication of his German Romance (24). JWC reports a chance meeting with her cousin Lt. James Baillie (28).

July. TC expects to finish Cromwell in about six weeks (3). JWC, still in bad health, has a sleepless stay at Addiscombe, but flinches from visiting Scotland. She proposes to go to her relatives in Liverpool instead (9). TC is “really near dead” (10), and promises himself a Scottish holiday when his book is finished. JWC leaves London (22). TC remains at work, but visits Addiscombe (26), and meets the American ambassador, Edward Everett. He rides with Milnes (29). JWC stays at Maryland St. with the Welshes.

August. JWC goes on to the Paulets at Seaforth Hall (1). TC's writing and proof-correcting is diversified by riding and visitors. He tries to help Dr. John Christie (5), and reports that old Edward Sterling has had a stroke in Manchester (6). JWC enjoys herself at Seaforth, where she is joined by Geraldine Jewsbury; they call on James Martineau and his wife (6). JWC writes further about the Martineaus' unitarian circle, George Dawson, and Theodore Parker (13–14). TC edits the last of Cromwell's own letters and speeches (18). Geraldine is jealous (19). TC sees Charles Green's balloon ascent (20). Cromwell is finished (26). TC sends out copies of a new edition of Past and Present, and dines with Dickens and Forster (30).

September. TC goes to join JWC at Seaforth (3); then, by steamer, to Annan (11–12). JWC returns to London (13). At Scotsbrig TC sees his mother and some of the family. JWC attends Dickens's production of Every Man in his Humour and books arrive from Varnhagen von Ense (20). TC reports potato-rot in Dumfriesshire (23). He goes to Dumfries to see about the letting and possible sale of Craigenputtoch (23–24). JWC receives some curious pamphlets from “Henri Paris.” In intervals of housecleaning JWC goes to see Lady Harriet Baring and old Sterling, who is still sadly ill (28).

October. JWC sees visitors and leads a domestic life; at Scotsbrig TC relaxes. 8: He finishes the index to Cromwell. 15: He leaves to visit the Paulets, and returns to London (18).

November. TC enrolls Lady Harriet in the London Library (5). The Paulets visit London. 15: The Carlyles visit Bay House, Alverstoke. 27: Cromwell is published.

December. 4: TC's fiftieth birthday. JWC writes of Lady Harriet as “a grand woman every inch of her” (4). TC begins to receive corrections and additions to the new work. Forster publishes an appreciative review in the Examiner (13). The Carlyles return to Cheyne Row (26): JWC reports TC “cross as the Devil” at needing to prepare a revised second edition (28); and problems have arisen with Wiley & Putnam over their American edition.

1846 January. TC continues to ask for and receive help in revising Cromwell. 7: TC receives £300 for the first edition from Chapman & Hall. 19: He asks Gavan Duffy for help in revising Irish topographical details. JWC visits the Paulets in London for Etienne Paulet's eye operation. TC talks of leaving for the country—or Prussia; JWC writes, “I wish I might know what is to become of me!” (19). 28: TC and Chapman consider a new edition of the Miscellanies .

February. TC tells Emerson Cromwell is “not to be touched by me again” (3), but asks him to arrange for American publication of the second edition. Lady Harriet keeps up her Addiscombe friendship with JWC, who writes, “for my part I love her now” (5). TC comments on Dickens's Daily News.

March. TC hopes to finish his revisions in two months; the printing of the second volume has begun (3). JWC and Lady Harriet often spend an evening together reading, talking, or playing chess. The Corn Law controversy is at its peak. JWC suffers from insomnia and admits that she has been frightened of going mad (10). TC defends Cromwell's Irish policy against Gavan Duffy (12). He asks John Carlyle to look out for a house for him in Dumfriesshire. JWC visits Addiscombe for a month (20), TC joining her at weekends. He tries to find work for Espinasse, who has quarreled with Panizzi (22). TC reports that the second volume of Cromwell is half printed, and the proofs “very trouble some” (28).

April. 3: TC finishes revising all but the appendix of Cromwell: he resumes riding (8), and proposes to FitzGerald a new memorial at Naseby. Meanwhile JWC continues her stay at Addiscombe, and returns with TC to Cheyne Row on the 20th. 30: Emerson assists TC in negotiating with the American publishers, Wiley & Putnam, and TC arranges to send Emerson his photograph.

May. TC entertains Darley, Tennyson, Moxon, and Anthony Sterling. 2: Chapman proposes new editions of Heroes and the Miscellanies. 4: TC, sick of political controversy in the face of public distress, tells Everett that he can tolerate neither. JWC admits to deep depression and longs for “some hard work I could do” (19). TC revises the new American editions, and by the 30th has proofread all Cromwell but the index.

June. TC writes in support of a civil list pension for Leigh Hunt. 7: He and JWC visit Addiscombe to escape the heat of London. By the 15th he has almost finished the American revisions. 16: Cromwell is published with its Supplement. 25: The Corn Laws are at last repealed in the House of Lords, but Peel is defeated in the Commons on the Irish Coercion bill. 19: TC writes to Peel and sends him a copy of Cromwell including its new tribute to him. JWC decides to go stay with the Paulets at Seaforth.

July. 4: JWC leaves after an angry parting with TC. 6: TC sends his revised and indexed French Revolution to America. 10 and 15: Mazzini replies to despairing letters from JWC. In London, TC finishes his revisions, visits Addiscombe overnight (11), and prepares to send Laurence's portrait of himself to Scotsbrig instead of a photograph. Delaying his departure, he considers visiting Naseby with FitzGerald. 18: He writes to JWC admitting that he may have been too intimate with the Barings, but hoping to keep up his friendship with Lady Harriet. 18–20: JWC stays at Speke Hall, near Liverpool. 22: TC proposes a “short flight” to Gavan Duffy and his friends in Dublin, and at last (23) leaves to relax with JWC in Seaforth.

August. 3: TC's horse, Bobus, is shipped to Annan, for which TC embarks for Scotsbrig, miserable that his marriage seems to be involved in “a black baleful cloud.” He remains in low spirits. 10: JWC goes to stay with Geraldine Jewsbury in Manchester, visits factories, meets Joseph Whitworth, Samuel Bamford, Stavros Dilberoglue, and others. She refuses to write to TC until the 13th, resentful of his joining the Barings on a Border tour (15–19), spoiled for him by bad health and bad weather. JWC enjoys Manchester. She stays with the Welshes in Liverpool (24), and is reluctant (27) to agree to TC's suggestion to meet at the Speddings'. 29: TC decides to escape to Ireland.

September. 2: JWC returns to Cheyne Row. 4: TC sets out to Belfast. 5: He reaches Drogheda, then Dublin and meets Gavan Duffy (6). 7: JWC reports that she has called on old Sterling. TC hears O'Connell at Conciliation Hall, and talks with John Mitchel and the Young Irelanders. He leaves for Liverpool (9). He arranges for Chapman & Hall to publish John Carlyle's translation of Dante's Inferno. 25: Helen Mitchell announces that she is to leave, and JWC begins to look for a new servant.

October. 7: Margaret Fuller calls and later vividly describes their meeting. 8: TC declines to attend the opening of the Edinburgh Philosophical Institution. Though reporting himself quiet, he actively helps his old assistant, Dr. John Christie, find work, and continues corresponding about Cromwell. 28: The Carlyles join a large houseparty at the Grange, where JWC thinks she is “in a false position” with Lady Harriet.

November. 5: The Carlyles return. 7: They meet Margaret Fuller with Mazzini. 9: TC writes about his experiments with Indian meal. 20: Isabella, the new maid from Edinburgh, arrives, and Helen Welsh from Liverpool. Julia Strachey dies. Isabella is soon found intolerable, and JWC takes to bed.

December. 2: Though it is agreed that Isabella should go at the end of the month, she is dismissed (5) and leaves. A temporary help, Hanah, is engaged, and JWC keeps to her room till the 20th. 16: TC sends books to Varnhagen von Ense and writes of reading about Frederick the Great. 31: Anne Brown is engaged, Hanah leaves, and Helen Welsh returns home.

1847 January. TC gives Lady Harriet a copy of the recent third edition of Heroes. He reads the Acta Sanctorum and continues to study Irish affairs, “a perpetual misery,” in the Nation (11–12). TC and JWC leave for Bay House (18), where they enjoy the company of Lady Harriet and Lady Anne Charteris. JWC ill with a sore throat.

February. Dr. Christie's wife dies and Jane tries to help him. 6: TC asks FitzGerald to investigate William Squire, who claims to possess some Cromwell letters, from whom he has just heard. 18: The Carlyles return. 20: TC writes about his religious views to Dr. Chalmers.

March. 1: TC writes to Gavan Duffy that the governing class of Ireland has completely failed. 2: He tries to persuade Emerson to lecture in London. 3: He thanks Varnhagen von Ense for a new volume of his Denkwürdigkeiten. 8: TC tells his mother that he is uncertain about starting to write again. He expresses deep concern about distress in Ireland and nearer home, and writes to his brother Alexander about his proposal to add to his farm (18).

April. 12: TC tells his mother about his future writing. 19: He continues to encourage Alexander. Plattnauer now calls every week.

May. 3: JWC visits Addiscombe, is joined by TC (5), and they return (8). 7: TC notes that he is now profiting from republication of his earlier works. 14: Dr. Chalmers calls at Cheyne Row. 16: TC gives John Robertson good advice about some alleged writings of Burns. 18: Through Emerson he thanks Thoreau for his “lecture.” 20: Caroline Fox calls, and records the visit in her diary. 25: Geraldine ewsbury comes to stay and enjoys being lionized.

June. 15: TC tells FitzGerald that he has been sent alleged copies of Cromwell's letters by William Squire, followed by the news that Squire has burned his remaining papers. 23: He writes to Browning, now married and in Italy, regretfully declining an invitation. 30: TC reports the visit to Cheyne Row of the grandson of Goethe's Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar.