To Miss Marion Ely, 11 April 2016
To MISS MARION ELY,1 [?LATE JULY 1837]
MS Armstrong Browning Library, Texas. On mourning paper. Date: handwriting and mourning paper support Summer 1837, and see below. Doughty Street / Saturday Morning
My Dear Miss Ely.
Let me beg you if you can, to excuse my apparent neglect in not sending Paracelsus2 before. It looks very bad I know, but I had not forgotten it for an instant. I return it now, and am happy to have the opportunity of again wishing you a pleasant voyage and a happy six weeks’ stay in Paris;3 above all, let me entreat you not to be so happy as to forget to return in good and reasonable time.
Believe me Ever / Most faithfully Yours
- 1. Marion Ely, niece of Rachel, T. N. Talfourd’s wife; she lived with the Talfourds at 56 Russell Square.
- 2. Robert Browning’s second book, a dramatic poem, 1835, based on the historical Paracelsus (1493-1541), Swiss-born physician and mystic. The poem’s critical success launched Browning’s career. CD may have been prompted to borrow and read Paracelsus by his first meeting with Browning, 26 June, in Macready’s dressing-room. The poem was reprinted in Poems, 2 vols, 1849, which 135 was in CD’s library at its 1878 sale (Catalogue of the Library of CD, ed. J. H. Stonehouse).
- 3. Marion had returned by Oct: see Pilgrim Letters 1, pp. 315, 321.