The Priory, Regents Park: December 22, 1877.
2-1/2 pp on a bifolium, 6 x 7 3/4 inches. 12mo. 'Let us keep to make good romances of the practical kind if we can.' – George Eliot as matchmaker. Old folds, soiling around outside edge The George Eliot Letters: 1874-1877, p. 435. Item #352206
Joseph Munt Langford (1809-1884) was a publisher, playwright and drama critic who managed the London offices for Blackwood & Sons. Lewes, upon receipt of a letter from John Blackwood expressing romantic interest in Emma Gwyther (daughter of Reverend John Gwyther, model for Amos Barton in Scenes of Clerical Life), asks Langford in a charming manner to relay to her information about the Gwyther family from the Clerical Register, follows with a note on her publication, and finishes with an agnostic holiday greeting.
Many years ago you mentioned, I think, that a friend of yours was acquainted with the daughter of the Rev. J[oseph] Gwyther – the very 'Emma' in whom the writer of the enclosed letter just forwarded to me by Mr. Blackwood, has evidently a touching interest. As I am absolutely ignorant about the present-condition of the Gwyther family, I trust in your kind-heartedness so far as to trouble you with my correspondents' queries. Will you be so good as to look in the Clerical Directory for the Rev. Henry Gwyther, & note whether he is still at Yardley? Or, it will be still more satisfactory if you can tell me what the inquirer asks about this (Emma) Gwyther. It would be very pretty if there were some blessing in store for her in the disguise of a 'Mr. Harris'. Let us keep to make good romances of the practical kind if we can.
Don't you think the new edition of 'Romola' book handsome – & handy?
I hope you are in good condition for enjoying the returned pleasures of 'the Season'.
Yours very sincerely,
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