Letter: from Mrs ME Gaskell to Emily Faithfull

Scope and Content

My dear Miss Faithfull, I have seen in the papers the death of Lady Blanche - and I cannot keep silent, although I feel as if I had very little right to trouble you with an explanation of my own sorrow, when you and Lady Blanche's children must be so overwhelmed with grief - It seems at first almost strange that I should be feeling it as much as I do - considering that I never even saw her - the hour that I spent with her that evening at Whittinghame, it was so dark in the twilight that I left the room without knowing what the face was like -although I could easily fancy something of its nobility and spiritual sweetness from knowing what would best match the voice and words, words, most of which. I am thankful to say I remember verbatim - But it is not really strange that this news should have pierced me to the very heart - for it is not the amount, but the nature, of one's intercourse that bind one to another - And when I remember how suddenly Lady Blanche appeared in my life, almost like an angel standing in my path, to help about that poor E. Hoching, about whose future I was in such trouble and perplexity till she wrote to me how generously she trusted me, how kindly she sent for me to Whittinghame, [written virtically on the front page]

for all who loved and revered her - With my deepest heartfelt sympathy, believe me yours ever very sincerely ME Gaskell.

Written at 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester.