LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of John Murray
Caroline Norton to John Murray, 31 October 1840

Vol. 1 Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Chapter X.
Chapter XI.
Chapter XII.
Chapter XIII.
Chapter XIV.
Chapter XV.
Chapter XVI.
Chapter XVII.
Chapter XVIII.
Chapter XIX.
Vol. 2 Contents
Chap. XX.
Chap. XXI.
Chap. XXII.
Chap. XXIII.
Chap. XXIV.
Chap. XXV.
Chap. XXVI.
Chap. XXVII.
Chap. XXIX.
Chap. XXX.
Chap. XXXI.
Chap. XXXII.
Chap. XXXIV.
Chap. XXXV.
Chap. XXXVI.
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Produced by CATH
24 Bolton Street, October 31st, 1840.
Dear Sir,

I ought to have thanked you from Ventnor, instead of waiting till my return to town, for your kindness in sending me an early copy of the Quarterly, containing all that comfortable flattery respecting ‘The Dream.’ I assure you I felt almost ashamed at seeing my name “first on the list called over”; but very grateful for the indulgent spirit in which the article was written, and would be glad to know to which of your Slaves of the Lamp I stand indebted. I was conscious of the egoism of the volume when I saw, collected into that form, the many scattered occasional pieces, added to the principal poem. I hope to do better yet, and will carefully avoid any faults that have been pointed out.

As to V., you have of course been made aware that she is since engaged to be married, to Mr. C , a very handsome, agreeable, well-informed clergyman (as I hear).* Now as she is forty, nothing shall persuade me that the proposal and the marriage are not the result of the Review; all the single ladies noticed in that article should instantly think of changing their names, retaining merely the floral name allotted to them in the Quarterly. I half wish I could change mine (especially since Mrs. Erskine Norton has ingeniously taken to playing at being me to all the publishers), but I dare say I should not change it to my satisfaction at this time of day; though I want ten years of “V.” and “V.” is very little, and very lame, and has not (as I am credibly informed) nearly such a straight nose as I have.

Her poetry is wonderful; I hardly believed it was a woman’s at first.

If the author of the article knew Lady E. Wortley he

* The lady in question wrote to Mr. Lockhart: “Two things have happened to me in one day which I never dreamed of. My Poems have been reviewed in the Quarterly, and I have received a proposal of marriage.”

would be too much in love with her to be able to laugh at her. She is the truest, simplest woman that ever was bit by romance; but you are an infidel, and don’t believe in women, because your
Byron wrote some clever lines against the sex—yet how was so profligate a man to know good women?

Not that I defend my lady’s high-flown language and “starry sublimities” at all times; but she is so gentle and earnest and real, that I felt a little unhappy when I read the review. Poisoned daggers are a joke to being laughed at in the Quarterly!

Believe me, Dear Sir,
Yours very truly obliged,
Caroline Norton.