Letter from Henry Kingsley to William Robinson

Scope and Content

Written from Attrees, Cuckfield, Sussex. Manuscript

He has at last moved from London; he has a delicious place and invites Robinson to visit him; his garden is famous even in this village of gardens; it was unknown for years as the previous owners did not allow anyone in, or cultivate it; for a whole year it lay waste yet when they arrived at quarter day it was a ravishingly beautiful sight; he wants to explain this apparent paradox in the field, to show what old fashioned flowers are indestructible, and give an account of the abundant fruit; he hopes they will renew their acquaintance and that Robinson will allow him to pull to pieces some of Kingsley’s rich neighbours’ gardens; this must be done anonymously because ‘it was our Cuckfield bench which sent Luke Hills to prison for winking his eye in church’; he asks what to do about the snails, and wishes the Roman divine who wrote a book called ‘A Short Way with the Heretics’, in favour of ‘prae mortal incremation’ [death by burning] had advised a short way of disposing of snails; a note beside the address clarifies the words ‘prae mortal incremation’, blotted in his postscript

Undated [between 1875 and 1876; Kingsley moved to Cuckfield in 1875; he died in 1876]