January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO ALEXANDER GILCHRIST ; 12 May 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560512-TC-AGI-01; CL 31: 93-94


Chelsea, 12th May, 1856.

… I unluckily know next to nothing about D'Aulnoy,1 and fear there is not much that can be known. She has come athwart me early in excerpts from her Spanish, and other Court Delineations, done, I think, in the form of Tours, Mèmoires; in which, tho' very lively and pleasant, she is said to be extremely indifferent to known and Not-known, and even to True and False. Of her Fairy Productions, again, I hear a highly favourable account from several quarters.— Perhaps in the very latest of the Editions of Moréri's Dictionary (1740 or so)2 there may be something of her? In that of 1709 there is nothing whatever. Bayle3 only quotes her once, and with a slight shake of the head: Biographie Universelle4 is utterly meagre.

Perhaps you are right to give up Rogers's affair;5 as to the man himself you are certainly right: his poetic sense of beauty was trifling from the first, and had all got contracted into the dilettante and upholsterish form. …6