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Peer Reviewed

“What a certainty of instinctive faith I have in heaven, and in the Mama’s living on”: Unpublished letters of Mrs. Gaskell and unpublished Gaskell family letters.

William Baker, Northern Illinois University

Letter 10


84 Plymouth Grove, | Manchester | May 31

My dear Mrs. Crompton,

It was exceedingly kind of you to write to me, and to send us dear Harry’s “Criminal Justice.”@ I should have certainly written before now to thank you, had I not had to deal with a great mass of rather anxious business —correspondence, which made it quite necessary for me to take on no extra-writing, as my right-arm is so weak that often for months together I have been unable to use a pen.

Please forgive this long explanation! It is only to account for the delay in my writing – which, at the same time, I am sure that you would never have attributed to ingratitude —

The delay has been enabled me to read the pamphlet and I cannot tell you how deeply it has impressed me. It gives one such an insight into the underlying principles of Law – It is so philosophical and logical, and yet put in such terse, pithy sentences that there can be no one incapable of understanding it.

Reading it has so carried me back to the days when Harry and my Mother had such long talks together; and when his friendship was such a pleasure in her life.

It would have given us such great happiness to have seen Paul once more.

London is a most tantalizing place – holding within it so many people and things that one wants to see; but so many out of reach at the right moment.

I could hardly believe in Paul’s four babies! Do please give him our love when you next write to him, and with the same to yourself believe me to be,

Ever very sincerely yours,

M.E. Gaskell