May 11th [1866]

MS Harvard University, Houghton Library

Dear Mr Dodgson
Your kind note and parcel have followed me here, and much obliged we are for them. We – and all the party here – think these by far the best photos that have yet been taken of me – and they are pronounced to be excellent likenesses of us both, as I am sure they are admirable photographs. Would you let us have – on the purchasing terms – half a dozen of each of the three in carte de visite wise and three of each of the vignette large size? Do you employ any one to whom we could send an order without troubling you to convey it, in case any of the class of kindred among whom I am going should take a fancy to any of these as I am sure they are much the best. My mother’s is really a most valuable likeness for which I feel very grateful. Of mine I think the standing one is the most perfect photo, and the most like to anyone who knows I am not sentimental but only given to holding my chin in the air but some like the other better, and it decidedly looks more rational.

I am afraid this is not very lucid! The Ghostesses (are you going to photo them?) I first heard from Miss Roberts, of Mlle Mori, who called them a Sussex rhyme that she had heard [all] her life.2 She said it with the addition that the crustesses were ‘Held in their fistesses’ – but I believe this was a domestic addition.

With many thanks yours sincerely
C M Yonge

Please to direct to Otterbourn still, as safe to be forwarded thence

1Lewis Carroll. His Journals record that he lunched with CMY and her mother at Professor Price’s on May 3, 1866 and photographed them in his studio the next day.
2Canto 4 of Carroll’s poem to 'Phantasmagoria', which first appeared in 1867, begins 'Oh, when I was a little ghost,/A merry time had we!/Each seated on our favourite post,/We chumped and chawed the buttered toast/ They gave us for our tea', which is obviously based on the traditional rhyme about the 'little ghostesses/ Sitting on postesses'.

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/2124/to-charles-lutwidge-dodgson

One Comment
  1. yongewebmaster says:

    carte de visite wise (line 5 of the letter).
    Might this be “size”

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