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Thomas Woolner letter to Marian Lewis, 1876 February 20

 Item — Box: 1, Folder: 18
Call Number: MSS 53

Scope and Contents

"Feb: 20 '76. My dear Mrs Lewis, I ought to have answered your letter before, but of late every evening I have had has been so closely engaged that I have not been my own master but rather the unwilling slave of that unpitying Demon brute - Circumstance. Tho wet a great deal, the weather has been so mild these last few days I hope it has dealt kindly with my well-beloved Patriarch. I was by no means pleased to have your confirmation of what I had heard of him. I am glad you think it does him good to have a chat on the way this queer world wags, and I will run down any Sunday you tell me I may see him without hurting him: my duties of the heavy sort are not yet begun at the R.A. and when they are they will not affect my Sunday, as I rarely work on that quiet restful day. What a joke about a bust of S.C. Hall! - doubtless I have during my life done many things a highly developed - or rather a human creature living in a highly developed civilization ought not to have done; - but I can lay my hand upon my faithful bosom and say "Thank that Destiny, hitherto my guide, I have never yet descended into such a puddle of inanity as to exercise my craft upon the features of Mr Pecksniff!" So pray ask your Husband not on my account to swell the vanity or the pockets of this contemptible sneak.- The R.A. business was very simple last Tuesday - it was decided by a majority of 2 to 1 that a first installment of Associates be elected soon as possible with the vote and all other advantages the present ones enjoy. To my mind this is disastrous because it will stop anything like a large movement towards justice for 25 years or longer, but as it appears to serve the purpose of ambition, and as ambition has a large majority to pedestalize him upwards I suppose the most philosophical thing is to smile at the gregariousness of mankind.- Ever truly yours, T. Woolner." S.C. Hall was the editor of The Art Journal and was renowned for his sanctimonious personality. He was widely considered the basis for Charles Dickens's character, Mr. Pecksniff.


  • 1876 February 20


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 blind-embossed letterhead: 29, Welbeck Street. W.

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

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