British Fiction, 18001829

BURY, Lady Charlotte Susan Maria. Conduct Is Fate (1822)

Anecdotal Records

Letter from William Blackwood to Susan Ferrier.
18 Jan 1820.
I have already mentioned to you the high opinion I have of the talent displayed in [the novel]. I need not say that, commercially speaking, I would be happy to publish the work. At the same time I hope the author will pardon me for the liberty I take in hinting that I feel confident that she could very greatly improve the first volume so as, in my humble opinion, to make it more acceptable to British readers, who are not accustomed to a husband knocking down his wife, nor yet to some other traits of Continental manners. Of all this, however, an author, and not a bookseller, is the best judge. If she is determined to publish I shall be able to arrange all this entirely to your satisfaction.
Source: Memoir and Correspondence of Susan Ferrier. 1782–1854. Collected by her Grand-Nephew John Ferrier, ed. by John A. Doyle (London: Murray, 1898; rpt. London: Eveleigh, 1929), p. 156.
Notes: Ferrier acted as an intermediary between publisher and author for this novel. For another version of this letter, see the entry under this novel in Publishing Papers.

Letter from William Blackwood to Susan Ferrier.
27 June 1821.
The friend to whom I sent Lady Charlotte’s MS. has only just finished it, and I now send you the third volume. I have been so much hurried since I saw you that it has not been in my power to write at length as I intended, but I will do either to-night or tomorrow morning. // Your friend here will be wearying to hear about her MS. I enclose you a note I had the other day from the amanuensis.
Source: Memoir and Correspondence of Susan Ferrier. 1782–1854. Collected by her Grand-Nephew John Ferrier, ed. by John A. Doyle (London: Murray, 1898; rpt. London: Eveleigh, 1929), p. 158.
Notes: For another version of this letter, see the entry under this title in Publishing Papers.

Letter from Susan Ferrier to Mrs Connell.
[1822].
Your letter came very apropos for receiving an answer, as I was going to have written you a line at any rate to [156/157] beg your acceptance of a copy of ‘Conduct.’ I believe it is scarcely published yet, so I have no idea how it is to take or what is to be said of it in the world; but for my own part I think there is a great deal of talent in it, though not very well directed. Some of the descriptions are beautiful, but there is too much of them to please the generality of readers. Altogether I am not sanguine about it, but I shall be very happy if it succeeds.
Source: Memoir and Correspondence of Susan Ferrier. 1782–1854. Collected by her Grand-Nephew John Ferrier, ed. by John A. Doyle (London: Murray, 1898; rpt. London: Eveleigh, 1929), pp. 156–57.
Notes: Dated from contents; letter has only ‘Saturday’ and the editor of the printed source has suggested 1820, which cannot be correct.

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