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Literary Life of the Rev. William Harness
William Harness to A. G. K. L'Estrange, 8 October 1866

Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Chapter X.
Chapter XI.
Chapter XII.
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“Kensington Gore,
“Oct. 8, 1866.
“My dear L’Estrange,

“If Lady Belcher could procure Miss Mitford’s letters to Miss Goldsmid we should be very much obliged to her. Miss Goldsmid is a very clever and learned lady, and Miss M.’s letters
to her would be on good topics and in the writer’s best style.

Miss Mitford’s connection with the Mitfords of Mitford Castle was (as I always understood) this: Dr. Mitford’s father was first cousin to the father of the Bertram Mitford who was head of the family; and when she went to the North she stayed with Lady Charles Aynesley. Lady Charles and her sister stood in the same relation to him as Dr. Mitford, as the children of brothers. Miss Mitford was another generation removed.

“I think we shall have a charming book; but we must go through all the letters and complete it before we talk to any publisher about it; for my views respecting the plan of publication change as I see more and more what it is we have to publish. My present view is that the book should be called ‘Life and Opinions of M. R. M., as given in her Letters, with Notes by the Editors.’ I like all the letters I have read, except parts of the letters to Sir W. Elford, which (except when she forgets whom she is writing to and is herself again) are in conventional English and almost vulgar in their endeavour to be something particularly good. If I send you off a lot of letters without date, should you have time to read them over and exercise your
skill in trying to ascertain when they were written.

“You can have no idea of the utter dreariness and solitude which we have been experiencing since the end of July in this ‘Deserted Village.’ Till yesterday and to-day we have had nothing but rain and mist, with evenings so cold that one was obliged to have a blazing fire—not, as usual at that season of the year, for cheerfulness-sake, but for actual warmth and comfort. Adieu, with kindest regards from my sister and cousin, and my best compliments to Mr. and Mrs. L’Estrange.

“Believe me to be,
“My dear Guy,
“Your affectionate friend,
“W. Harness.”

“Of an evening I’m re-reading the first volume of Froude’s History, to prepare my memory for the enjoyment of the four last. Adieu!”