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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“What a certainty of instinctive faith I have in heaven, and in the Mama’s living on”: Unpublished letters of Mrs. Gaskell and unpublished Gaskell family letters.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 7


Plymouth Grove. | Friday morning@

Dear Harry

I cannot possibly say to you what my remembrance of your most tender kindness is, — and will be for ever. I am so glad, too, to think that the kindness was given by one who loved my own Mother so dearly, and of whom she spoke [indecipherable word] in the lost Crewe letter as “my very dear Harry,” if I remember rightly. I want to tell you, though I think you will think it strange for me to tell you of it, what a certainty of instinctive faith I have in heaven, and in Mama’s living on, amongst those whom we call dead, but whom I feel now alone have the true Life. Sometimes when people have died, I have had all sorts of horrible wonders & doubts, about where and how the soul was: but with this utter sorrow comes so clear an instinct of immortality that I want to tell you of it; for if one person knows a thing, it proves it — though a hundred doubt it, and I want to share with you, who have suffered the same grief, this only comfort.

Forgive my having written so to you; and may God bless you for what you have@ been to us this last week.

Your most truly grateful and affectionate

Meta Gaskell