Mlle Souvestre to Mrs Strachey

Scope and Content

She is alarmed at news brought back by the demoiselles Ecornet from England: how bad was the sanitary state of London and the provinces and also visitations from the heavens which had caused inundations followed by contagious diseases. Naturally she thought of her friends and was nervous for their safety. At the present moment here there is Springtime in Jan and whatever untimely effect this may have later in the year it has a most beneficial effect on all the invalids and others. Very worried over the news received from their pupil Sarah (see Letter of 19 Dec 1874) who has been spending the last month with her parents and her ill health has been aggravated by 'cette abominable temperature en Angleterre'. Her parents have little idea that the girl may be suffering from intellectual loneliness and she fears the absence of intellectual stimulus which she got with them. They spent the Christmas holidays at Paris, but they were too preoccupied with personal worries to be diverted. They did, however, see the new play of Erckmann-Chatrian [joint names of two French writers who collaboration made their work almost that of one personality] 'Cet ami Fritz' [published as a novel in 1864] about which there has been such a fuss. It did not seem worth it. Asks her if she would like to get something for her at the sale of Millet's drawings which have descended from an artificially kept up price to 30 francs. About holidays, they would prefer to come to England during the long summer holidays to give them a longer period than is possible in May.