Elderfield Otterbourne Winchester
Oct 11th 1888

MS British Library Add MSS 54921: 165-61

Dear Mr Macmillan

I have a story all but finished which I think might be printed before this season is over. It is in 30 chapters and is finished to within 6 of the end.

The difficulty is what to call it.2 The period is from 1681 to 1696 the chief interest a youth who has been thought a changeling and who disappears for 7 years during which he is supposed to be murdered – but is really consorting with Jacobite high way men & smugglers. I have thought of Porchester Castle Underground[,] Peregrine the Changeling A Crooked Ship A Changeling Elf, Three Seventh Years, A Seven Years’ Secret

I believe this last is best. The Mystery of the Vault, which really is most applicable sounds like a penny dreadful – and the objections to the other names relating to the hero are that they sound too like a fairy tale and that for half the book, he is out of sight – the narrative being with the heroine ‘Anne Woodford’ – maiden? woman? who had kept silence her tongue is another alternative

Yours truly
C M Yonge

Three Seventh Years is really the most suitable as the story is in 3 parts each beginning at the 7th year, connected with the belief about fairy children – when he is 14 – 21 and 28

1This is the only letter in the Macmillan file dated between 1887 and 1889.
2 The book was eventually called A Reputed Changeling, or, Three Seventh Years Two Centuries Ago (1889).

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/2893/to-alexander-macmillan

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