1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Barbara Hofland

Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, 27 February 1819; L'Estrange, Life of Mary Russell Mitford (1870) 1:303.



I find by a letter from Mrs. Hofland, my dear Sir William, that she, poor dear woman, has sent you the Proposals of her book [the plates from Mr. Hofland's Whiteknights]. If you should have the goodness, when you go into Plymouth, merely to leave the Proposals on the table in the reading-room, it might do good. I take the liberty to make this request because it is one that can not give you much trouble and may do good, and, above all, because the sale of these miserable fifty copies is all poor Mr. Hofland is likely to get for the paintings — drawings — journeys — his wife's writing — and, which is worst of all, the whole of the engraving. Not an engraver in London would strike a single stroke on the Duke of Marlborough's credit, and the Duke of Marlborough had not (to use his own elegant phrase) "a brass farthing" to repay Mr. Hofland.