The collection contains correspondence of Walter Bagehot with Eliza Wilson, his future wife, with her father James Wilson the founder of The Economist, and also with F.B. Batten his partner in the Bank of Stuckey's Banking Company. The correspondence dates to the 6 months prior to the marriage of Bagehot and Eliza which took place in April 1858. Subjects discussed include Bagehot's literary work, Bagehot's business concerns, Eliza's health and treatment under a Mr Beveridge of Edinburgh, visits to see Eliza, the couples feelings for each other, arrangements for the wedding, search for a house for the newly wedded couple to live in. In this period Eliza was residing in Edinburgh with her sister Sophy in order to receive treatment from Mr Beveridge for headaches and eye strain. At the end of her treatment she went to stay in London with her family for a short time before returning to the family home of Claverton Manor nr Bath, Somerset. Bagehot was residing at his house Herds Hill nr Langport, Somerset, and working at Stuckey's Banking Company in Bristol. Bagehot visited Eliza several times in the period, at Edinburgh, London, and Claverton Manor nr Bath. The couple were married from Claverton on 21 April 1858.
Note that this correspondence was later edited by E.I. Barrington and published in 1933 under the title 'The love letters of Walter Bagehot and Eliza Wilson'. Please note that the following which appear in the edited volume Barrington, Emilie Isabel (ed.), The love-letters of Walter Bagehot and Eliza Wilson (London : Faber, 1933) are now missing: Poem 'Orithyia' which accompanied letter of 22 Nov 1857; 2 Feb 1858; 9 Feb 1858; 11 Feb 1858; 14 Feb 1858; 16 Feb 1858; 24 Feb 1858; Fragment Mar 1858; 16 Mar 1858. Note also that the letter from Matthew Arnold dated 27 Oct 1857 which accompanied his letter of 4 Jan 1858 is also missing as are two letters to his mother of 21 Apr 1858 and 23 Apr 1858 all of which appear in the edited volume above.