Otterbourne, Winchester.
Decr 12th 1860

MS Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter/ Yonge 1860/14 1

My dear Miss Smith

Many thanks for the arrival of this morning and for your kind undertaking of the biographies. You will find a good deal more of Mrs Grant’s childhood in her Life of an American Lady, which may be got from Hookham’s library2 if from no where else. I wish I had the book or I would gladly lend it to you – it is a very interesting and curious picture, but in such stilted stiff language that it will be a great boon to have it made simple and easy. I should have set down Mrs Schuyler if she had not been nearly included in Mrs Grant. I had an impression that you would take Mrs Carter, you are so fond of that era. Have you the two goodly quartos of her letters. I am sure it might be a part of her history that her letters were put into quartos- but she is an engaging old lady, & I hope you will put in her brandy pudding, her wet walks, & the discussions with her father that only ended with the teapot! I shall be very glad if you will bethink you of any other interesting person whose life might make nice reading for the young, thus put into shape.

I have finished Mrs Fry, and very much I like it, but I am inclined to ask if it might not read a little better, if the bit about the supervision of families exercised by Quakers were put earlier instead of just where the memoir brought it before you. I think it might be as well to precede the whole with a short account of Quakerism and its requirements, for it would make her difficulties much more comprehensible. But that can be thought about at leisure. I am afraid, with all her heart humility, her exterior bearing was a little injured by feeling herself so prominent. I suppose it is hardly possible to help this, especially for a woman – (men do help it) – but I fear she did not but appeared outwardly to receive the homage paid as a right – at least so I have seen it stated in a review of a rather satirical book of an exquaker’s confessions, not a very trustworthy quarter perhaps. I am glad you liked Play & Earnest, I thought it a great advance on the first. The present story wants more action, but the mother seems to me a very original well conceived character

yours sincerely

C M Yonge

1Envelope addressed to Miss A. M. Smith/ Rectory/ Old Charlton/ SE and postmarked Winchester 12 December 1860 and London SE 13 December 1860
2Thomas Hookham’s library in Bond Street was one of the leading commercial circulating libraries in the earlier part of the century, but was later driven out of business by Mudie’s.
Cite this letter

The Letters of Charlotte Mary Yonge(1823-1901) edited by Charlotte Mitchell, Ellen Jordan and Helen Schinske.

URL to this Letter is: https://c21ch.newcastle.edu.au/yonge/1811/to-ann-maria-carter-smith-39

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