The Collected Letters, Volume 25


CHRONOLOGY ; 1997; DOI: 10.1215/ed-25-chronology; CL 25: firstpage-25-xvii-lastpage-25-xix


1850 January. J. S. Mill attacks TC on “The Negro Question” in Fraser's Magazine; TC goes ahead with plans for the Latter-Day Pamphlets. TC writes to Edward Herford on Pauperism (20). He visits the Grange and hears of Lord Jeffrey's death (28). He returns to JWC at Cheyne Row (31), where she keeps fairly well and enjoys Nero's company.

February. The first pamphlet, “The Present Time,” is published. TC reports that “Model Prisons” is written and “Downing Street” is in progress (7). He is troubled by weakness and having to use spectacles, but keeps up his regular correspondence and letters to Gavan Duffy, Charles Redwood, and others (mid-month). Two students at Aberdeen wish to propose TC as rector of the university (22).

March. TC writes to Charles Kingsley and Chapman & Hall about publishing Alton Locke (1). JWC follows Geraldine Jewsbury's serial, Marion Withers, which satirizes Elizabeth Paulet, and reports TC as busy all day writing and out most evenings “at Bath House or elsewhere” (4). “New Downing Street” and “Stump Orator” are to be the next Latter-Day Pamphlets, of which reviews of the earliest are hostile (7). JWC thanks Mary Russell for plants and outtings from Templand (7). TC writes to Jean Aitken about having a room kept for him in a cottage taken for their sister Janet Hanning (8). JWC visits Addiscombe on her own, catches cold, and retires to bed (19–21). TC finishes the fourth pamphlet and plans a short rest before beginning the next (29). TC writes to W. M. Rossetti thanking him for a copy of The Germ (31).

April. TC writes to Edwin Chadwick (3). Moritz Hartmann meets TC at Cheyne Row, introduced by Amalie Bölte (5). JWC goes to Addiscombe for a week (6), where TC joins her (9–11). JWC writes of her ill health to Jeannie Welsh (13). “Stump Orator” finished (19). The Carlyles dine to celebrate Neuberg's parents' golden wedding (23). TC works on “Parliaments” (26). Helen Mitchell needs a character reference (28). Payment offered for Pamphlets is disappointing (29).

May. Tennyson, FitzGerald, and other friends visit early in the month. TC works on “Hudson's Statue” and finally accepts Chapman's offer for payment for the Pamphlets (14). JWC entertains a large evening party at Cheyne Row while TC dines at Bath House, very impressed by Sir Robert Peel (25). John Carlyle returns to London after a long stay in Scotsbrig (26) and enjoys visiting friends and acquaintances. At the end of the month Mazzini returns to London, warmly received by the Carlyles.

June. The Carlyles continue to have many visitors, including Mazzini, Lewes, Fanny Lewald, Catherine Crowe, and JWC's Edinburgh cousin John Welsh. TC finishes “Hudson's Statue” and picnics with JWC on Ham Common to celebrate (10). Both Carlyles meet Charlotte Brontë at Thackeray's (12). TC dines with Peel and meets W. H. Prescott (13). TC finishes Leigh Hunt's Autobiography with great satisfaction (17). The Carlyles attend a ball in Bath House, where they see the Duke of Wellington (24). TC acknowledges Moschzisker's Guide to German Literature, and John Carlyle leaves for Scotland (25). TC begins “Jesuitism,” eighth and last pamphlet, and finds it very difficult (26). JWC goes to Addiscombe (29), where joined for the day by TC and Thackeray (30).

July. JWC returns home (1). TC notes death of Peel, “a noticeable loss to me” (2). JWC complains of “more than enough” company, and says she has “seen little” of Jewsbury (4). TC writes, “I am on the last Pampht now,—thank Heaven!” (5). “Jesuitism” being printed, and TC considers a holiday in Wales (17). After a year's lapse, correspondence with Emerson is resumed (19). TC leaves for Bath and an overnight stop with Landor (31).

August. TC arrives at Boverton, S. Wales, to stay with Redwood (1), while JWC embarks on serious cleaning and redecorating, having trouble with the painters and servants, but sees company from time to time. Latter-Day Pamphlets published (10). TC is taken on an expedition to the Taff Valley and Merthyr Tydvil (15), while JWC has servant trouble, dismisses her maid, and falls ill, Jewsbury leaving after a few days of staying with her. JWC reports Mazzini's return from Paris, her training a new maid, and continuing re-decoration, while TC leaves Boverton and goes to Liverpool (24). TC arrives at Annan and Scotsbrig (27). A new maid arrives and JWC receives Alton Locke (29).

September. JWC writes that she believes the new servant will be satisfactory, while TC writes of a funeral at Hoddam, “a stranger I among my own people” (2). TC writes William Allingham on the study of history and enjoys the quiet of Scotland, while Lady Ashburton invites JWC to the Grange (4). Elizabeth Sprague returns to ask JWC for a reference (6), while JWC finds Alton Locke “an oppressive painful book” and her health indifferent in spite of the servant and quieter routine. TC and his mother visit Burnswark and then Dumfries (11–12), where he reports much illness in the area and discovers that the Carlyles have £2,000 in the Dumfries bank. TC has clothes and shoes made in Ecclefechan, visits Dumfries (21–23), and writes of visiting Iona. JWC goes to the Grange for a holiday (25), while TC leaves Scotsbrig for Greta Bank and the Speddings (27) and goes to visit the Marshalls at Coniston (30), where he joins the newly married Tennysons.

October. TC returns to London by train (2). He joins JWC at the Grange (9), where a visit to Paris with the Ashburtons is proposed but does not materialize. TC returns to Cheyne Row (19) and to another new servant (found by Amalie Bölte). After staying to help Lady Ashburton, JWC returns home (22).

November. The new maid leaves, and JWC looks for a replacement, settling on one by mid-month. TC reads history, mainly the Annual Register, and tells Emerson that “I set no value at all” on the Latter-Day Pamphlets except that “my heart is clear of them.” A supply of winter provisions arrives from Scotsbrig (13). TC notes that he is getting grey-haired (15). JWC strains her chest and shoulder in a household accident and fears cancer (22). TC talks of looking for a home to buy in Scotland, reading widely, and occasionally working in the British Museum Library (30).

December. TC disapproves of the reestablishment of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in England (2). The Crystal Palace is rapidly being built. JWC bitterly resents TC's lack of sympathy for her suffering (6). TC confesses to his sister Jean (18) that deep down he knows he cannot leave London. He attends a Society of Arts lecture on railway extension, and the Ruskins and Richard Owen call (18). The Carlyles dine at the Wedgwoods' to meet Elizabeth Gaskell (19). A Christmas hamper arrives from Redwood (23). TC writes to introduce Neuberg to Varnhagen von Ense (24). The Carlyles strongly support Lady Rosina Bulwer Lytton against her husband's illtreatment; JWC writes that “Things are going on well enough with us for the present” (31).