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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. VII. 1759-1791
Mary Wollstonecraft to Everina Wollstonecraft, 30 October 1786

Contents Vol. I
Ch. I. 1756-1785
Ch. II. 1785-1788
Ch. III. 1788-1792
Ch. IV. 1793
Ch. V. 1783-1794
Ch. VI. 1794-1796
Ch. VII. 1759-1791
Ch. VII. 1791-1796
Ch. IX. 1797
Ch. X. 1797
Ch. XI. 1798
Ch. XII. 1799
Ch. XIII. 1800
Contents Vol. II
Ch. I. 1800
Ch. II. 1800
Ch. III. 1800
Ch. IV. 1801-1803
Ch. V. 1802-1803
Ch. VI. 1804-1806
Ch. VII. 1806-1811
Ch. VIII. 1811-1814
Ch. IX. 1812-1819
Ch. X. 1819-1824
Ch. XI. 1824-1832
Ch. XII. 1832-1836
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The Castle, Mitchelstown, Oct. 30, 1787.

“Well, my dear Girl, I am at length arrived at my journey’s end. I sigh when I say so, but it matters not. I must labour for content, and try to reconcile myself to a state which is contrary to every feeling of my soul. I can scarcely persuade myself that I am awake; my whole life appears like a frightful vision, and equally disjointed. I have been so very low spirited for some days past, I could not write. All the moments I could spend in solitude were lost in sorrow and unavailing tears. There was such a solemn kind of stupidity about this place as froze my very blood. I entered the great gates with the same kind of feeling as I should have if I was going into the Bastille. You can make allowance for the feelings which the General would term ridiculous or artificial. I found I was to encounter a host of females—My Lady, her stepmother, and three sisters, and Mrses. and Misses without number, who of course would examine me with the most minute attention. I cannot attempt to give you a description of the family, I am so low; I will only mention some of the things which particularly worry me. I am sure much more is expected from me than I am equal to. With respect to French, I am certain Mr P. has misled them, and I expect, in consequence of it, to be very much mortified. Lady K. is a shrewd, clever woman, a great talker. I have not seen much of her, as she is confined to her room by a sore throat; but I have seen half a dozen of her companions, I mean not her children, but her dogs. To see a woman without any softness in her manners caressing animals, and using infantine expressions is, you may conceive, very absurd
and ludicrous, but a fine lady is a new species to me of animals. I am, however, treated like a gentlewoman by every part of the family, but the forms and parade of high life suit not my mind. . . . I hear a fiddle below, the servants are dancing, and the rest of the family are diverting themselves, I only am melancholy and alone. To tell the truth, I hope part of my misery arises from disordered nerves, for I would fain believe my mind is not so very weak. The children are, literally speaking, wild Irish, unformed and not very pleasing; but you shall have a full and true account, my dear girl, in a few days. . . .—I am your affectionate sister and sincere friend,

Mary Wollstonecraft.”