Hannah More to Marianne Thornton, 21st November [in or after 1817]

To: Miss Thornton
Address: Battersea Rise
Stamped: None
Postmark: None
Seal: Black wax
Watermarks: None


MS: Cambridge University Library, Add.7591/11
Published: Undetermined

of its grossest corruptions. I own I think meanly of French poetry, but by no means undervalue many of the writers of it, it is of the poverty of the materials which the French language furnishes /for poetry/ of which I complain. For many other species of composition I am fond of the language I once, I forget where, wrote something against the character of French Versification 2 and had immediately sent me by Monsr. Dutems[2] work vols. of the Poetry of Jean Baptiste Rousseau, in which are some fine Religious Odes. [3]

I shall expect at least half a dozen Epistles, not as fair barter but as liberal commerce, for this long and I fear hardly intelligible scrawl. Besides telling me what you read, and who you see, you are still surrounded by a society (but oh how thinned) whom I know and love, while those about me are unknown to you, and would excite little interest were it not so. When you write pray mention how Robert Grant is. He gave us two pleasant days some weeks ago but was not quite well.

We both write in kindest respects to Mr. and Mrs [superscript needs to be checked here] Inglis and in love to dear Henry Lucy Watson and all the young things. Pray tell Etta that Louise goes to school by day, and talks of Articles and Pronouns, and [unclear] and [unclear], and [unclear] and [unclear], with much of her profound learning Your kind present of Mr. Croker’s History[4] she can nearly repeat all the Stories, and if she could help it woud read no other book, except indeed Black Giles and Tawney Rachel [5]

Adieu my very dear Marianne, continue
to love your affectionate
H More


The letter is dated based on the reference to Croker’s book, which was published in 1817.


In Hints towards forming the Character of a Young Princess (1805), in her chapter on 'Books of Amusement', More wrote of the 'the poor vehicle of French versification' in a lengthy critique of French literature. (Read online, p. 69.)


Louis Dutens (1730-1812), a friend and admirer of Rousseau’s who had purchased many of his books. More here refers to Rousseau’s Odes Sacrées. (Read online.)


Stories for Children from English History by John Wilson Croker (1780-1857), published in 1817.


Characters from two of More’s Cheap Repository Tracts. Black Giles first appeared in Black Giles the Poacher, published in November and December 1796; Tawny Rachel was Black Giles’s wife, and appeared in her own tract in April 1797.