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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. VII. 1759-1791
Mary Wollstonecraft to Eliza Wollstonecraft Bishop, 5 November [1786]

Contents Vol. I
Ch. I. 1756-1785
Ch. II. 1785-1788
Ch. III. 1788-1792
Ch. IV. 1793
Ch. V. 1783-1794
Ch. VI. 1794-1796
Ch. VII. 1759-1791
Ch. VII. 1791-1796
Ch. IX. 1797
Ch. X. 1797
Ch. XI. 1798
Ch. XII. 1799
Ch. XIII. 1800
Contents Vol. II
Ch. I. 1800
Ch. II. 1800
Ch. III. 1800
Ch. IV. 1801-1803
Ch. V. 1802-1803
Ch. VI. 1804-1806
Ch. VII. 1806-1811
Ch. VIII. 1811-1814
Ch. IX. 1812-1819
Ch. X. 1819-1824
Ch. XI. 1824-1832
Ch. XII. 1832-1836
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Mitchelstown, Nov. 5th [1787].

“. . . Now to introduce the castle to you, and all its inhabitants, a numerous tribe, I assure you. The castle is very pleasantly situated, and commands the kind of prospect I most admire. Near the house, literally speaking, is a cloud-capped hill, and altogether the country is pleasant, and would please me when anything of the kind could rouse my attention. But my spirits have been in continual agitation, and when they will be at rest, heaven only knows. I fear I am not equal to the task I have been persuaded to undertake, and this fear worries me.

Lady K. is a clever woman, and a well-meaning one, but not of the order of being that I could love. With his Lordship I have had little conversation, but his countenance does not promise more than good humour, and a little fun not refined. Another face in the house appears to me more interesting, a pale one, no other than the author of ‘Shepherds I have lost my love.’ His wife is with him—a gentle pleasing creature, and her sister, a beauty and a sensible woman into the bargain. Besides them and several visitors, we have resident here Lady K.’s stepmother, and her three daughters, fine girls, just going to market, as their brother says. I have committed to my care three girls, the eldest fourteen, by no means handsome, yet a sweet girl. She has a wonderful
capacity, but she has such a multiplicity of employments it has not room to expand itself, and in all probability will be lost in a heap of rubbish, miscalled accomplishments. I am grieved at being obliged to continue so wrong a system. She is very much afraid of her mother,—that such a creature should be ruled with a rod of iron, when tenderness would lead her anywhere! She is to be always with me. I have just promised to send her love to my sister, so pray receive it. Lady K. is very civil, nay, kind, yet I cannot help fearing her. . . . You have a sneaking kindness, you say, for people of quality, and I almost forgot to tell you I was in company with a Lord Fingal in the packet. Shall I try to remember the titles of all the lords and viscounts I am in company with, not forgetting the clever things they say? I would sooner tell you a tale of some humbler creatures; I intend visiting the poor cabins; as Miss K. is allowed to assist the poor, and I shall make a point of finding them out.

“Adieu, my dear girl,
“Yours affectionately,
Mary Wollstonecraft.”