Decr 8th 1859

MS Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter.

My dear Miss Smith
Parker has sent me the two pretty volumes of Aggesden, and very nice they look in print. I hope they will succeed for it is a very pretty story, and I think all it wants is more attention on your part to composition as a study. I do think, if you will allow me to say so, that to make your pretty narratives take thoroughly you should go carefully through some book on the English language. Lindley Murray’s syntax and examples perhaps, or examine the structure of sentences, Addison’s perhaps, or in modern times Hugh Miller, or Helps. I know there is a great looseness of structure prevalent in writing now, but I do not think books gain in animation or freedom by it; and one is worried by the need of having to look back to discover the real meaning of a sentence. I say all this, you know, because I think you have a real talent for writing, and it is a great pity not to give your imagination the full advantage of a clear medium. I suppose this strikes me the more because I am inclined to put a mark here and a transposition there as I should in the Monthly Packet. I suppose in reviewing it there I may say it is by the writer of your papers there, as I think many will buy it in consequence. We are delighted with Paul’s love affairs

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/3142/to-ann-maria-carter-smith-25