The Collected Letters, Volume 26


CHRONOLOGY; 1998; DOI: 10.1215/ed-26-chronology; CL 26: firstpage-26-xxiii-lastpage-26-xxv


1851 January. Tidying his papers, TC sends unused notes for his Cromwell to be copied by John Chorley, later the basis for his Historical Sketches (1). The Carlyles visit Pentonville prison (2). They continue to help Lady Bulwer Lytton; and Theresa Revis comes to stay (1–4). TC finds it hard to settle to writing, and so copies some notes on Icelandic literature (22). JWC finds Fanny the maid satisfactory after her troubles the previous year. TC writes that he has finally decided against buying a Dumfriesshire house as a summer retreat. Nero is stolen (22), but returned. Anthony Sterling, after a difference, is temporarily restored to the Carlyles' circle (23). TC goes for a short visit to the Grange (30).

February. TC tells his brother John that he has started what is to be his life of Sterling. Amalie Bölte, now a near neighbor, often calls on JWC. The rising Crystal Palace is reported to be attracting public attention. Lord Russell resigns (21). Thomas Woolner models a medallion of TC.

March. The Carlyles have flu (ca. 3–10). Fanny, now deaf, is to leave, and JWC finds a successor (4). TC tries to help Samuel Bamford (7). Reading Ruskin's Stones of Venice (9), he also resumes writing Sterling. He reports Mazzini's return. He sees Gavan Duffy, F. D. Maurice, Edward Twisleton, and various others. TC is very pessimistic about politics.

April. Life of Sterling is finished in first draft (1) and sent to Chapman & Hall. TC considers writing an account of Edward Irving (5). Some dining out with the Ashburtons, Ferguses, and others. Disgusted with a portrait of himself from Hogg's Instructor, he burns it (6), but sends a copy of Woolner's medallion to his mother (10). Chapman agrees to publish Sterling (12), and Forster returns a copy of the manuscript with his comments (25).

May. The Crystal Palace opens (1), and the Carlyles visit the Exhibition (8). The printing of Sterling begins and its proof read (8). TC is keen to study Icelandic but has given up the idea of going to Copenhagen. JWC prepares to change servants. They both attend the first of a new series of Thackeray's lectures (22), followed by others.

June. Nero again stolen (4) and returned (7). TC orders another copy of the medallion for his sister Jean Aitken (10). Helen Welsh arrives from Liverpool to see the Exhibition (11). Geraldine Jewsbury reported in London and seeing JWC; TC attends a fancy dress ball given by Lady Ashburton (17). After a breakfast with Lord Mahon (30), TC with eighty-three other signatories sends a letter to Lord Romilly, master of the rolls, asking for better access to official records.

July. JWC writes that she “breakfasts” at Bath House at 3 P.M. (1) and attends Thackeray's last lecture (3). Half of Sterling printed, TC writes to Emerson about an approved U.S. edition. Mazzini visits weekly. The Carlyles decide to go to Malvern for the water cure. Tauchnitz publishes TC's French Revolution and Joseph Neuberg's translation of TC's writing on work accepted for publication. TC finishes the proofs of Sterling (29).

August. The Carlyles arrive in Malvern (2), though only TC takes the water cure. With rest and quiet both enjoy better health. Visitors passing through include Nassau Senior, Robert Farie, and Edward Twisleton. Early copies of Sterling are sent to TC's mother and to E. P. Clark in Boston, who is to arrange for an American edition (19). TC encourages the Brownings to write recollections of Margaret Fuller Ossoli for Emerson. JWC still uncertain about her further plans for a holiday when they leave for Liverpool (30), after which TC goes on to Scotsbrig.

September. TC arrives at Scotsbrig (1), and JWC leaves for Manchester to visit Geraldine Jewsbury. TC joins JWC at Manchester, where he stays with the Gaskells (16–17). They go on to the Stanleys at Alderley, then home (19). TC leaves for Paris with the Brownings (25) to join the Ashburtons there (26), with whom he stays. JWC visits the Exhibition again, with Neuberg; drives out with Darwin; and visits the Chorleys.

October. TC returns home (2), generally avoids company, reads historical works, and searches for a new subject. Sterling published and warmly praised by Forster in the Examiner (18). JWC expresses her annoyance to her cousin Jeannie (15) at TC's preoccupation with Lady Ashburton. JWC finds work for Saffi teaching Italian. Neuberg about to return to Germany, and TC sends Varnhagen more autographs (29).

November. The Carlyles send to Gully of Malvern a set of TC's works (12). TC reads Preuss on Frederick the Great, “the last of all our ‘kings’” (14). JWC accepts an invitation to the Grange in advance of TC's carefully postponed arrival (16). Sterling is revised for a second edition. The Revue des Deux Mondes continues its interest in TC.

December. JWC joins Lady Ashburton and her mother, Lady Sandwich, at the Grange (1), where they make dolls' clothes as Christmas gifts. TC stays home reading, with occasional visits; dines with Anthony Sterling (7). Louis Napoleon's coup d'état and the subsequent unrest is widely reported (2–4). TC writes about renewing the lease of Craigenputtoch (11). He joins the large house party at the Grange with Macaulay, Twisleton, Lord Grey and family, Lord Lansdowne, Landseer, and others (13). Christmas is celebrated with music, carols, and presents around the tree. The Carlyles remain over the New Year with Thackeray and his children.