Jany 17th 1872

MS Girton College, Cambridge Yonge I 2

My dear William
I have to thank you for some game which gives me an opportunity of writing to you. I have thought much of your concern for Lord Carnarvon’s illness, which must have been great; I felt no little interest in it myself, as he is too good a man to be spared. I was the more alarmed from recollecting how few of his family have lived to be old : now however I trust that he is doing well. What is your son Arthur doing? I heard a report that he was abandoning the law, & taking to tuition work..

I have just been just been reading Miss Yonge’s ‘Daisy Chain’, I am not sure whether for the 2d or the 3d time. I wonder where it is ranked in her own estimation. I place it very high amongst her works, & consider it a model specimen of her peculiar powers. No one else could have written anything like it. The variety of the characters, the nice discrimination of their shades; the force with which they are drawn, the whole process of their development, strike me as admirable; & in spite of one or two little mistakes (such as making the boys catch crayfish in what must have been a tributary of the Severn, or the Wye, where they do not exist) & make me place it very high, not only amongst her works, but in the general region of fiction. Like Walter Scott’s works & my own Aunt’s, I am never weary of reading it.

We have had a large family party for some weeks. All our Sons have been more or less here except Charles, whose residence will begin when Parliament meets: but all are now breaking up. 2 Mary is this morning crossing from Devon for another four month’s residence at Mentone. She is not ill, but Dr Quain urged it as a measure of precaution.

With our affectionate regards to all your party I am very affly yours
J E Austen Leigh

1The Rev. James Edward Austen Leigh (1794-1874), nephew and biographer of Jane Austen, had been friends from childhood with Sir William Heathcote, whose mother was a friend of his aunt's.
2He had seven sons.

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/2436/the-rev-james-edward-austen-leigh-to-sir-william-heathcote

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