May 9th [1865]

MS British Library Add MSS 54920: 82-85

My dear Mr Macmillan
I can quite enter into what you say of that first chapter’s meagreness. There were things I wanted to keep in reserve, and I do not think one’s mind gets so worked up to the point /at first\ as after having gone through all the preliminaries and preparation. I wanted to keep Bethlehem by daylight /on the Gleaning of Right\ for the Anointing of David, and therefore made less of the scenery of the place. I have Kitto’s Bible Dictionary and Smith’s, but what I think most vividly inspired me was Stanley’s description of Bethlehem in his Sermons to the Prince of Wales – which I have not – I also have Murray’s Handbook to Palestine, but I have been rather unwilling actually to consult descriptions, except to verify my impression for fear of giving the air of being copied from some accessible book. And when one does not wish to make a questionable statement, and yet the pros and cons would spoil the effect, it is difficult to select points for description. But if I could re write that chapter after having worked towards it by all the different roads, I am sure I should do it much better. I shall be very glad to hear your views as to the three following chapters. I think Abraham’s is the least made out of these. I am afraid I am not likely to be in London for some time, the only time I could have gone was this week and that has been prevented, so I fear there is not chance of talking it over. I did not know I had used any scraps except the quotation from Milton – unless it be the bits from the prophecies describing the shepherds’ outfit, but perhaps I have unconsciously quoted more than I knew I did.

If the chapter can wait until I have written the state of the world up to it, I know it will improve. There is something perverse in one’s wits. They will work in ways of their own.

May I have sheets of the Dove sent to Tauchnitz and to Appleton’s agent, Mr C Layton, 16 Little Britain. I will write to Clay about it if it does not cross any other arrangement.

I have had some correspondence with Mr Appleton, which has resulted in his paying me for the Clever Woman but proposing to invest the sum in America. So I thought as I seemed to have little chance of the sum, I would see what he would do with it and I expect to hear it is in a petroleum well!

Would you be kind enough to have a copy of the Christian Names sent to

Mrs Carr
The Warren
Charlton SE

It is to go to a lady in Russia who gave me much help with the Russian names.

I think I might get some help out of Thompson’s Land and Book. I remember learning much from it, but I think I can get it from the London Library

Yours sincerely
C M Yonge

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/2030/to-alexander-macmillan-43

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