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The Autobiography of William Jerdan
Letitia Landon to William Jerdan, [July 1834]

Vol. I. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Introductory
Ch. 2: Childhood
Ch. 3: Boyhood
Ch. 4: London
Ch. 5: Companions
Ch. 6: The Cypher
Ch. 7: Edinburgh
Ch. 8: Edinburgh
Ch. 9: Excursion
Ch. 10: Naval Services
Ch. 11: Periodical Press
Ch. 12: Periodical Press
Ch. 13: Past Times
Ch. 14: Past Times
Ch. 15: Literary
Ch. 16: War & Jubilees
Ch. 17: The Criminal
Ch. 18: Mr. Perceval
Ch. 19: Poets
Ch. 20: The Sun
Ch. 21: Sun Anecdotes
Ch. 22: Paris in 1814
Ch. 23: Paris in 1814
Ch. 24: Byron
Vol. I. Appendices
Scott Anecdote
Burns Anecdote
Life of Thomson
John Stuart Jerdan
Scottish Lawyers
Sleepless Woman
Canning Anecdote
Southey in The Sun
Hood’s Lamia
Murder of Perceval
Vol. II. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary
Ch. 2: Mr. Canning
Ch. 3: The Sun
Ch. 4: Amusements
Ch. 5: Misfortune
Ch. 6: Shreds & Patches
Ch. 7: A Character
Ch. 8: Varieties
Ch. 9: Ingratitude
Ch. 10: Robert Burns
Ch. 11: Canning
Ch. 12: Litigation
Ch. 13: The Sun
Ch. 14: Literary Gazette
Ch. 15: Literary Gazette
Ch. 16: John Trotter
Ch. 17: Contributors
Ch. 18: Poets
Ch 19: Peter Pindar
Ch 20: Lord Munster
Ch 21: My Writings
Vol. II. Appendices
The Satirist.
Authors and Artists.
The Treasury
Morning Chronicle
Chevalier Taylor
Foreign Journals
Vol. III. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary Pursuits
Ch. 2: Literary Labour
Ch. 3: Poetry
Ch. 4: Coleridge
Ch 5: Criticisms
Ch. 6: Wm Gifford
Ch. 7: W. H. Pyne
Ch. 8: Bernard Barton
Ch. 9: Insanity
Ch. 10: The R.S.L.
Ch. 11: The R.S.L.
Ch. 12: L.E.L.
Ch. 13: L.E.L.
Ch. 14: The Past
Ch. 15: Literati
Ch. 16: A. Conway
Ch. 17: Wellesleys
Ch. 18: Literary Gazette
Ch. 19: James Perry
Ch. 20: Personal Affairs
Vol. III. Appendices
Literary Poverty
Ismael Fitzadam
Mr. Tompkisson
Mrs. Hemans
A New Review
Debrett’s Peerage
Procter’s Poems
Poems by Others
Poems by Jerdan
Vol. IV. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Critical Glances
Ch. 2: Personal Notes
Ch. 3: Fresh Start
Ch. 4: Thomas Hunt
Ch. 5: On Life
Ch. 6: Periodical Press
Ch. 7: Quarterly Review
Ch. 8: My Own Life
Ch. 9: Mr. Canning
Ch. 10: Anecdotes
Ch. 11: Bulwer-Lytton
Ch. 12: G. P. R. James
Ch. 13: Finance
Ch. 14: Private Life
Ch. 15: Learned Societies
Ch. 16: British Association
Ch. 17: Literary Characters
Ch. 18: Literary List
Ch. 19: Club Law
Ch. 20: Conclusion
Vol. IV. Appendix
Gerald Griffin
W. H. Ainsworth
James Weddell
The Last Bottle
N. T. Carrington
The Literary Fund
Letter from L.E.L.
Geographical Society
Baby, a Memoir
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“No. 30, Rue Taibout, Chaussee d’Antin, Paris.
Dear Sir,

“My present address ought to be well known to you.* I write on purpose to scold you. Why have you not sent me the ‘Gazette;’ it would have been such a treat. Also, you have not (like everybody else) written to me, and I quite pine for news from England. I would return tomorrow if I had the opportunity. I do not think that you have properly valued my letters, for things ought to be valued according to their difficulty, and really writing is no little trouble, to say nothing of putting my epistles in the post. I have been very unwell ever since my arrival, and for

* From my translation and publication of “L’Hermite” of Jouy.

the last three days I have scarcely been off the sofa. The fatigue and the heat are equally overpowering. I feel so unequal to the exertion of hearing and seeing. Yesterday I was going to a little party at
Lady Kingsmill’s, but I was too unwell. I cannot tell you half the kindness and civility which I have received. Of all the persons I have met, or rather who have called upon me—for there is no meeting anybody now, all the soirées being over—I have been the most struck with M. Heine; his conversation is most original and amusing. Next to him, I like Monsieur Sainte Beuve, he is very French, very animated, and, to use the national expression, très-spirituelle. Monsieur Merimée, whom I met at Mr. Bulwer’s, wrote me first a most polite note, asking permission to claim my acquaintance, and then called to offer his services, and made himself so agreeable. Certainly the conversation here is very delightful, far more intellectual, and with a great deal more thought in it than English talking in general. M. Odillon Barrot has been our chief cicerone, he is what we should call a remarkably quiet and gentleman-like person,—rather English than French. Another, who has shown us the very greatest civilité, is M. Beulot, rédacteur deRevue de deux Mondes,’ a work that has the greatest reputation here. He has given us a box for the opera next Wednesday. Excepting the morning that M. Odillon Barrot took us to Notre Dame and Le Jardin des Plantes, I have scarcely been out of the house. Poor Miss Turin is still in the doctor’s hands, and of course it is impossible for me to go out by myself, or accept the attendance of any gentleman alone, so that I am surrounded with all sorts of little difficulties and embarrassments. I never again would think of going anywhere with only a lady; one might almost as well stay at home. I had no idea till now how useful you gentlemen are—I might say,
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how indispensable. We are very comfortably situated; we have delightful bed-rooms, a little ante-chamber, and the prettiest saloon, looking on a charming garden. The quiet is such a relief; for in Rue Louis-le-Grand we could not hear each other’s voice for the noise; and above my head was a printer, and opposite my window a carpenter’s. I do not know what it may be in the city, but at the West End there is nothing that can give an idea of the noise of Paris; the streets are all paved, the omnibusses innumerable, and carts and carriages all of the heaviest kind. I was delighted with the giraffe—it is like the creation of a fairy tale—with the light, graceful head, like that of a serpent, and the heavy, ill-shaped body of an animal; it seems as if nature had been making two creatures at once, and not having time to finish both, joined them together in a hurry, being about as well matched as marriages in general.* The elephant, too, was stupendous, it gave me sensation of fear, and made me understand, better than anything else, the gigantic size of life in the East. Next to these was a tremendous cedar of Lebanon, more like a tree built than one planted. Such a tree, standing alone in a plain, would be the most magnificent temple in the world. I have read as many books as I could get, having subscribed to a French library. We have not an idea of French literature in England. As far as I can judge, it is full of novelty, vivid

* Unequal marriages are, it is true, seldom happy, but sometimes those which appear to be equal at the outset, turn out no better. Baron Holland, of tall memory, used to tell that in walking out near London one day he saw an old wizened Italian Tramp on one side of the road with two or three monkeys, and on the other a rather buxom woman trudging along in the same manner with a tambourine. He was struck by the contrast, and entering into chat with the lady found she was the Signor’s wife, and asked her, How she could marry that old man? “Oh, Sir,” said she, with a deep drawn sigh, and a meaning glance at the questioner, “when I married him, he had a dromedary!”

conceptions, and, I must say, genius, but what we should call blasphemous and indelicate to the last degree. If my money holds out I shall buy several works and translate them at home, but I doubt being able to accomplish it; for though I have bought nothing but what was indispensable, such as gloves, shoes, paper, &c., I have little more left than will bring me home. The dust here is something not to be told; before you have walked a hundred yards your feet are of a whitish brown. A great deal of my time has hung heavily on my hands, I have been so languid and so feverish; still I feel that I have quite a new stock of ideas, and much material for future use: and as to Paris, it has more than realised my expectations, but to have seen anything of the society I should have been here two months earlier. Now, excepting the visits that are paid me, I can see nothing of the people; as to sights, you know me too well to suppose that I care two straws about them. I would sooner have a morning visit from an amusing person than see the Tuileries or the Louvre ten times over. One ridiculous misfortune is continually befalling me; I am always falling down, the parquet, i.e. the floor, is so slippery, and I am never very steady on my feet. I really thought I had broken my arm yesterday. I am very anxious about getting home. Miss Gibbon and I were to have returned together, but as her sister is not yet recovered she is obliged to wait. I have settled to stay one fortnight from to-day, Sunday, with Miss Turin, in hopes of Mrs. Fagan being sufficiently restored to allow of her sister’s departure. However I have set everybody to inquire that I can think of. I like our new lodgings so much. They are, according to
Sir William Curtis’s orthography, three C.’s, namely, clean, cool, and quiet. We are going to-day, with Monsieur Odillon Barrot, to the prison de l’Abbaye, but as we shall go
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near the post-office I shall put in this letter. Tell Nanon and Ellen I am quite disappointed in not having a letter from either. I wrote them a long letter by Miss Montgomery, and have another nearly finished in my desk. I am more and more enchanted with
Madame Tastu. And now, with kindest remembrances,

“Yours very truly,