July-December 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 30


CHRONOLOGY; 2002; DOI: 10.1215/ed-30-chronology; CL 30: firstpage-30-xxxi-lastpage-30-xxxiv


1855 July. TC visits Crystal Palace (2) and writes Forster to cancel the public appeal for the Lowe sisters planned for the Times, Lady Palmerston having promised a small pension to them (5). JWC celebrates her birthday alone (14). TC writes Sir G. Sinclair declining his invitation to visit (24). TC tells his brother John he privately thinks his work can never “have much value … to the beautiful British public of these times” (28). He continues work on Frederick with Neuberg's help.

August. Edward FitzGerald invites TC to Woodbridge in Suffolk (1), and, after some hesitation, TC goes there for a holiday (8). They bathe, ride, and drive around, including visiting the Crabbe family and Aldeburgh. Arthur Helps and TC see Lewes's Life and Work of Goethe through the press. TC is reading Voltaire. JWC in Cheyne Row organizes a major cleaning and calls the painters in, escaping briefly to Willesden (10–11), taking a day trip to Brighton and Rottingdean for bathing and to look for a seaside cottage (13). She visits Jane Brookfield (17), and TC returns from Suffolk (18). They set out for Brighton but turn back at London Bridge (20). While TC rides Neuberg's horse to Addiscombe (26), JWC returns to Brighton by train and cancels her plans to rent a cottage (27). They both go to Addiscombe (30). John Carlyle leaves Scotland for Germany.

September. JWC returns abruptly to Chelsea, leaving TC at Addiscombe (2), while TC declines the offer of a public dinner for Charles Gavan Duffy (5). JWC remains in Chelsea, though she visits Addiscombe twice (8, 10). Sebastopol falls (8). TC returns briefly on horseback to Chelsea and takes overdue books back to the London Library (15–17). The Cloughs and Brownings visit (16). JWC and TC walk to Crystal Palace at Sydenham from Addiscombe (21). TC returns finally to Cheyne Row after a 24-day visit to Addiscombe (23). Jean Aitken's son John born (22). TC is reading “Maud.”

October. TC returns Neuberg's horse (1). TC finishes “The Guises” (6). Thackeray leaves for the U.S. (13), and John Carlyle returns from Germany (13). JWC begins her Journal (21), arranges Chelsea lodgings for Margaret Welsh (22), and receives a gift of an embroidered black satin thread case from Countess Pepoli (23). Henry James Sr. calls at Cheyne Row (24). The cistern overflows, flooding the spare bedroom and the drawing room, but JWC still entertains Lady Lyell, Margaret Welsh, Darwin, and others in the evening (25). In spite of morphine and a sleepless night, JWC walks with Margaret Welsh and sees Thomas Ballantyne (26). TC writes to Lady William Russell about the Lucas Cranach portrait (26). Margaret Welsh spends the day with JWC (28). JWC sent by TC to visit the Lowe sisters in Deptford (29). Lady de Capell Broke invites JWC to Oakley Hall; she refuses (30). The appeal for the Lowe sisters is revived, and TC, Forster, and Dickens write to the Times to launch the public appeal after Lady Palmerston fails to provide the promised pension (31).

November. Geraldine Jewsbury returns to Chelsea from Oakley Hall (3). She, Margaret Welsh, and Lady Sandwich visit JWC (4). The Carlyles dine at the Milneses; Robert and Georgiana Lowe visit in the evening (8). TC reads J. S. Blackie on Scottish education. George Lewes comes to tea looking ill (10). JWC takes money for the Lowe appeal to Coutts's bank and visits the Sterling sisters (12). She hears Lord John Russell's lecture at Exeter Hall with Frances Wedgwood (13). The Carlyles accept Lady Ashburton's invitation to the Grange for Christmas. JWC goes to a soirée at the Milneses; hears that Anthony Sterling is to be home from the Crimea soon (16). Ruskin makes a direct donation to the Lowe sisters and promises an annuity. Sir Joseph Whitworth calls (18). JWC goes to the income tax office to appeal against TC's assessment (21). TC considers installing a stove in the attic study (26). Circulars are to be printed to stimulate further giving to the Lowe sisters' fund. Alexander Gilchrist visits and TC gives him a plaster mask of Dante's face (29).

December. Lowe fund is little more than £200 (3). TC writes to Browning in Paris to thank him for his notes on French history. TC's 60th birthday (4). JWC visits the theater (5). TC hopes the Lowe fund will buy an annuity of £20, which, with Ruskin's £5 annually, will close the matter (6). JWC, Jewsbury, and others dine at Darwin's and go to a concert (10). TC's gets help on Frederick from Gilchrist (10) and Neuberg (11). JWC finds preparations for the Grange onerous (11). Sterling back from the Crimea (13), visits Cheyne Row, but JWC is out (14). Sterling dines at Cheyne Row, Mrs. Piper dies (15). The Carlyles leave for the Grange (17). TC walks, rides, enjoys some of the company, and remembers his mother's death two years before. Neuberg reports on photographs of Anton Graff's Friedrich, sent to Cheyne Row by Eduard Magnus, and the new stove in the attic study (23). TC thanks Magnus for help with Frederick portraits (29).

January–July 1856

The full 1856 chronology will appear in volume 31. Meanwhile, we are giving here a brief chronology for Jan. through early July 1856, to provide background to JWC's 1856 Journal. Her last Journal entry was 5 July 1856.

January. The Carlyles leave the Grange (14). TC continues work on Frederick; Crimean War peace negotiations begin (17, 18). The Lowe appeal is still receiving donations (23).

February. JWC writes a farewell letter to David Davidson, who is returning to Scotland (2). Notice is given that the Lowe appeal is about to close (11). JWC advises William Allingham on becoming a poet (23).

March. TC is deep in Frederick (5). Lowe appeal over £300 (6). TC writes to Lady Ashburton about dinners with Lord Stanhope and with Darwin (15). He visits Lady Stanley at her new house in South St. (17). JWC “puts a child through school” (24) and is visited by Jewsbury and Eliza Snowden; a few days previously she had met A. J. Ross, Kate Sterling's fiancée (25). She visits Emilie Hawkes; TC loses Nero but finds him again (28). JWC has a letter from her cousin James Baillie, visits him, and gives him a half sovereign. Maggie Welsh arrives “to stay a week or a fortnight” (29). Plattnauer, Countess Pepoli, FitzGerald, and others visit (30). JWC has another letter from James Baillie. Crimean War ends (31).

April. Lowe sisters' appeal is drawing to a close (5, 10, 12). Maggie Welsh leaves Cheyne Row (9). JWC visits Lady Ashburton. John Aitken Carlyle is in Hamburg with his stepson Henry Watt. He buys books for TC (11). JWC walks with Plattnauer in Battersea Park and receives Jewsbury, Tait, FitzGerald, and others at home (13). Gilchrist helps TC with books for Frederick (12). The Carlyles dine at Bath House (14). JWC and Jewsbury go to a christening performed by Wilberforce (15), look at pictures at Marlborough House (17), and hear the evidence of Lord Lucan to the Crimean inquiry committee (18). Lowe subscribers' list sent to Times (23). George Rennie visits Chelsea, and Kate Sterling makes her last visit before her marriage (27). Mrs. Rennie invites the Carlyles to dinner the same night that they are to go to a soirée at Bath House (28). JWC dines at the Wedgwoods and sees Mrs. Gaskell (30).

May. TC thanks Ruskin for vol. 4 of Modern Painters (2). There are plans for a cheap edition of TC's works. The Carlyles dine at the Wedgwoods' (6) and the Rennies' (7) and go to a soirée at Bath House, taking Ruskin at Lord Ashburton's request (7). TC writes of getting vol. 1 of Frederick ready for the printers (9). JWC meets Julia de Winton at a tea party at Jewsbury's. Betty Braid's only son is dying (15). JWC goes to the Messiah at Exeter House with Jewsbury (16). Kate Sterling marries A. J. Ross (17). J. de Winton lunches with JWC and Jewsbury (18). TC has the first letter from Emerson for more than a year (25). The day of the Celebration of Peace; JWC goes to Bath House to see the fireworks (29).

June. Allingham visits JWC (1). JWC goes to Addiscombe for 4 days (7). George Rennie visits Cheyne Row (11). TC comes to an agreement with Chapman over the edition of his works to come out in October; Gilchrist is to help with it (18). Ellen Twisleton and Barlow come to say goodbye “for this season” (19). A small part of Frederick is finished (20). Countess Pepoli, Jewsbury, Charles Terrot, George Rennie, and others visit JWC (21, 22). The Carlyles go to a small party at the Portals' (24). JWC goes to Hampstead with Jewsbury (27) and dines at Lord Goderich's, where she meets Sir Colin Campbell (28). Sarah Ann Newton visits JWC (29).

July. JWC visits Mrs. Montagu and meets Browning there. Colin Campbell visits Cheyne Row (4). TC plans to visit Scotland (5).