Elderfield, Otterbourne, Winchester.
June 17th 1878

MS Mrs Clare Roels1

My dear Christabel

Cherry is very satisfactory. The only thing I was not prepared for was Roland’s death, and Dick’s keeping the property I expect he married Nettie after all, though it is quite right not to say so. I like the contrast between Cherry’s feelings in the two illnesses very much, it is rather those of the rest of the family that I thought in danger of repetition. Miss Seyton I think good, and Alvar’s making up with Virginia I like I hope Macmillan will take it. I do not see why the pupil teacher story should not do as a Blue Bell.2 Mine is related by a spinster with a spine who was critic to a Society of nine girls (specified) There is to be an inundation in it and I shall marry up three at the end, so I hope it will have incidents enough. Our poor pupil teachers are in the final tug of preparation. They go to Salisbury the first Monday in July, and worked all through Whitsunweek enough to addle their brains3 The coming school master is reported to be an excellent Churchman. I hope he won’t be too good a one and scare the parish Remember me to my exGoslings4

your affectionate
C M Yonge

I never said how glad I am of the little daughter5 I hope indeed she will thrive

1Envelope addressed to 'Miss C R Coleridge/ The Old House/ Market Lavington/ Devizes' and postmarked 18 June 1878.
2CMY evidently refers to two projected stories by Coleridge, the novel about Alvar, which she hoped Macmillan would publish and which was published as An English Squire (London: Sampson Low 1881); and a novel about a pupil teacher. Coleridge seems to have suggested that Marcus Ward might be unwilling to include the latter in his Bluebell series because its plot resembled too closely that of CMY's The Disturbing Element.
3The diocesan teacher training school was in Salisbury, and the pupil teachers at Otterbourne School, Alice Misselbrook and Harriet Godwin, in whom CMY took a close interest, were examined there.
4Jane Pearson and her sister, with whom Coleridge was staying at Market Lavington.
5Margaret Eulalia Coleridge (6 June 1878-1960), daughter of Coleridge's brother Ernest Hartley Coleridge.

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/2634/to-christabel-rose-coleridge-94

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