January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO EDWARD STRACHEY ; 28 January 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560128-TC-ES-01; CL 31: 16


Chelsea: 28 January, 1856.

No book I ever undertook has been such a misery to me, from causes extrinsic and intrinsic, as this of Frederick the Great; thoughtlessly gone into, and in which I am still sunk overhead, uncertain yet whether I shall ever get out of it alive. Innumerable things are proven in that enterprise; this, which is worst of all, that I have literally no motive to proceed, except the conscientious reluctance to be quite beaten; that, in fact, I have little real love for Frederick, and for his century, and its works and ways, contemptuous abhorrence rather than love.

It will give me real pleasure to see you again, which by some happy chance I hope to do before long. I expect to be steady here, sunk in my sad Brandenburg element of ‘barren sand’1 for many months to come.

I am always, with many affectionate regards and recollections,

Yours sincerely, /