Elderfield, Otterbourne, Winchester
December 8, 1896.

MS location unknown. Printed in Coleridge, Life, 338

Dear M. E. C.
I feel strongly impelled to write to you both to thank you for your letter and for St. Christopher’s legend. A German lady once sent me a set of photographs of frescoes of his history, where he was going through all sorts of temptations, including one by evil women.

I think I must tell you that the Daisy Chain was written just when I was fresh from the influence and guiding of my father. Not that he was in the least like Dr. May, being a soldier with the highest chivalrous sense of nobleness and justice, and moreover with a strong desire to see, and do everything in the best way possible.

I remember his exclaiming, when Norman’s health began to fail, ‘You don’t mean to kill him?’ and that seems to me to mark how far I had gone on in that story. The Heir of Redclyffe he had looked over and criticised with all his might.

Another advantage the Daisy Chain had was, that coming out in monthly parts there was a good deal of friendly, often merry discussion of the characters, with such friends as Mr. and Mrs. Keble, Miss Dyson, and Dr. Moberly (later Bishop of Salisbury). So that external influence had much to do with the developments.

It has always had the best sale of all my books, yet when I read both it and the Pillars of the House over, for the sake of taking up the broken threads, as well as to see them with older eyes, I found myself preferring the latter, as brighter, and on the whole less pedantic than is the effect of Ethel in parts, and with more of hope throughout.

I think I must mention that Guizot’s public recommendation of the Heir of Redclyffe led to the only thoroughly spiteful review that ever befell me, in Household Words, written, I imagine, by some blindly jealous admirer of Dickens.

Heartsease was the last book Lord Raglan read, I was told by Admiral Sir Stewart who lent it to him. And Mr. Butterfield was said to be in search of Ethel for a wife. But Mrs. T. Mozley had set the fashion of reading books on child life. By the bye, I wish you would write a notice of the Fairy Bower and Lost Brooch, also of Louisa, with their wonderful cleverness and irony.

Grace and Mary Anne always remind me of Dr. Newman’s controversy with Kingsley about truth, the same which resulted in the Apologia.

I have inflicted a long letter on you, but when I once began I could not help going on.

Yours sincerely
C. M. Yonge

1There is a biographical account of Mary Elizabeth Christie (1847-1906) in her A Tardiness in Nature and Other Papers (Manchester: Manchester University Press 1907).
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/3333/to-mary-elizabeth-christie-2

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