A Trunk full of Letters

May 17, 2009 at 10:54 am (books) (, , , )

Dear Miss Heber2A couple years ago — thanks to the bibliography listed in Helen Lefroy and Gavin Turner’s (eds.) Letters of Mrs Lefroy, I purchased a hard-found copy of “Dear Miss Heber…” an eighteenth century correspondence (ed. Francis Bamford). This was not my first taste of Bamford’s editorial work. What a lucky life he must have led to work on the books that I have come across, never mind others I have never seen.

In the last few weeks I have been hard at work on an article about the Knyvetts (untangling Papa Charles and son Charles has not been easy), but in the past few days I have also been thinking about an article centering on the friendship of Charlotte Lucas and Elizabeth Bennet, for submission to Persuasions (since no one at JASNA wanted to hear my paper proposed on the topic of friends being akin to sisters [the AGM’s theme being “Austen’s Brothers and Sisters in the City of Brotherly Love {Philadelphia}]). And something last night made me pull from the shelves my Miss Heber.

What a delight! And so many sentiments a propos to discussions on our JASNA blog (janeausteninvermont.wordpress.com), especially the comments of Sylwia, about marriages and the state of singlehood; as well female friendships.

I am curious (although I plan, of course, to search!) to know if anyone has ever come across the ‘further publications’ that Francis Bamford promises when telling readers about the trunks and trunks and trunks of correspondence found by Georgia and Sacheverell Sitwell at their home, Weston Hall (Northants.). Please post, if you have knowledge of more in this vein, whether from Weston Hall or not. Am always interested in finding what I never knew existed.

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