Apart from a brief jaunt to a conference in Prague (which was lovely, thank you), the weeks since the last post went up have been spent digging away all sorts of exciting stuff for the dissertation. You’ll have to wait until that’s done to hear most of it, but I’ve just come across something mildly scandalous in some manuscript correspondence at the British Library, so I thought I might share it with you. Perfectly innocent misunderstanding or a case of the lady protesting too much? I leave it to Lady Katherine Perceval, writing to her brother, to give you her side of the story…
‘I was the other day thinking of a paper that Mr Vowell gave me one day when we were talking about Poetry, and he tould me it was a coppy of verses which I think he said he made on some tall mistres that after she had made him belive she had good thoughts of him cast him of and married an other I think you will finde them in my Cabinett and if you doe be pleasd to burne it for I know not what construction an ennimy may make of it that knows not who it was made for I remember Lenard that Spitttfier on day saw it among my papers and she was so sausy as to ask if it were made to me thay that know the contrary as you and I do would scarce ever belive that such caution ware needfull but one can not be to wary of ons creditt in this sensorious age, tis a [whol?] sheet of paper I think in his own hand and the tytle of it if I forgett not is a Farewell to &c:’
If you fancy chasing it up for yourself, you’ll find this letter in the British Library’s Add. MS 46955 B, f. 121r.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have three more months’ dense correspondence to wade through before I flee the archives for the weekend.