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Thomas Woolner letter to John Frederick Lewis, 1875 January 31

 Item — Box: 1, Folder: 10
Call Number: MSS 53

Scope and Contents

"Jan 31 '75. My dear Lewis, If you refuse being Mr-ed; - I was much delighted with your kind letter and the hope it offered me of a pleasant glimpse of your happy life. Please to ask Mrs Lewis to accept my bow of homage, and say with what pleasure I look forward to making her acquaintance. I know that I have already seen her several times in life, and, if I mistake not, once in her immortality as she looks in the "Bey's Garden," the guardian angel of the richest cluster of flowers, ever glowing and that ever glowed to mortal sight.- Armstead has done a great deal of work for Gilbert Scott, and his chief performance is half the Podium of the Albert Memorial. He has not exhibited much at the R.A. but as they still want two sculptors to make up their traditional number I think they could not have done much better than to elect him. He is brother-in-law of Wells, and is a personal friend of a great many members of the Academy. I do not know what the Authorities will do with Chantrey's gains, but I know that the Prince may praise and the papers may trumpet, but the Academy will not purchase the "Roll Call". - I hate the thought of 3 score years and 10 for some persons, and wish it sometimes to be within the programme of the gods to do as they used in the days of Attica - extend their grace to especial favorites, and give you 20 more years of working vigour. It is to me sad to think that now your genius has reached its highest glory you should be able to do less work than ever and be tantalized with unsatisfied aspirations and unrealized visions of beauty. You will know that one human being feels the loss this is to the world. I think I shall not wait for fine weather, as that may be in the remote future, but as you give permission I shall run down to see you the first clear chance I can see. - My wife cordially reciprocates your kind feelings towards her and sends similar greetings. - Most truly yours, T. Woolner." Marginalia on first page: "The enclosed photograph for Mrs Lewis' Album" (no photograph present). Woolner refers to Calling the Roll after an Engagement, Crimea (better known as The Roll Call), a painting by Elizabeth Thompson. See: Thomas Woolner, R.A., sculptor and poet, page 303.


  • 1875 January 31


Physical Description

1 folded sheet (4 pages) : autograph letter, signed ; 18 x 23 cm, folded to 18 x 12 cm

Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection:

The materials are open for research.

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


With written place of origin: 29 Welbeck St. W.

Part of the Yale Center for British Art, Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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