Letter to Mary Sibree p.1

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Date:10th of May 1847

Description:Mary Ann writes to her friend Mary apologising for forgetting to send her a book she has promised. Mary is in Clifton, Bristol convalescing with her father. Mary Ann mentions attending a lecture given by Mr McDonald on self-educated men and that she will be attending another on the state of society that evening. (Mary Ann's social circle widened when she moved to Coventry and this affected her greatly.)



My dear Mary,

I obtained your direction from Mrs. Sibree this morning that I might express my regret to you for having failed in sending 'Past and Present'. I did really get the book on the very day I promised to do so, but the next day my amazing faculty of forgetting together with a bad headache made me quite oblivious of the whole affair. This is no excuse, but it is something to be penitent - "Who with repentance is not satisfied is not of heaven, nor earth". So says Shakespeare, & as I am very sure that you are composed of some of the earth's best mould, I am not afraid that you will withhold your forgiveness. I am so sorry that Mr. Sibree has missed the opportunity of having that thrilling book, while he is at leisure (I am sorry to hear) an invalid. Pray tell him that it is still at his service when he comes home.

Clifton must look lovely under these smiling skies. I hope you are drinking in all kinds of profit & pleasure, & will remember everything to tell me when we are tête à tête. You are missing nothing good except Mr. Macdonald's lectures. He gave one last evening on Self-educated men, & there is to be a second this evening on the State of society. This is no caviare however, but very simple food, and I dare say you are getting much better where you are. Farewell until you come like a rosy beam of morning to smile on me in my study. In a hurry as usual,


Mary Ann Evans

Note: George Eliot (born Mary Ann Evans) was a local authoress based in the Coventry and Nuneaton district, from 1819-1880.


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Donor ref:Nun. Lib. 2 (49/11309)

Source: Nuneaton Library, Libraries, Heritage & Trading Standards, Warwickshire County Council

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