A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Total Pages : 4
Pages with text: 3
Transcriber: O'Dell, Sandra
Transcription date: April 30, 2015
Scrutiny: 30/04/2015 - Benny, Ruth;
Signed off: no
Feb[ruary]. 11th [no year]2
Dear Dr Wallace,
I am very glad to hear that you have found 'Kerrigan's Quality'3 at all interesting. To tell you the truth, ever since I finished writing it, I have tried to forget its existence, because it seemed to me such a failure. It was written under a combination of difficulties -- one of them my own fault: I foolishly undertook to have it ready by a certain date, which I found to have a paralysing effect on my faculties -- and I could [] not make it what I wished. So I was altogether dissatisfied with it. But I have just now been looking through it again, and it strikes me as not being quite so bad as I feared. There is some absurdity in the plot, and most of the characters are not very real, but Kerrigan is rather a human sort of person I think. I wish I could write such a sequel to it as you suggest. What I am afraid of is my incompetence; for an ignorant or feeble book would, of course, be worse than useless, though I do think a good one might have some effect. I must think it over a great deal.
I have not read the work of Mr Craik4 which you mention. In fact my reading on the subject has been []5 very limited, and I should feel extremely grateful for any information about books that would be useful.
I fear I should find it heard to believe in quite such a happy end to the story as you say. It seems to me that there would always be some people with sufficient cause for grumbling -- if we call it so. Still, it will be easier to judge of this when all preventible [sic] miseries have been removed -- and how far we are from that in Ireland, where at the present moment whole parishes are starving.
Yours very sincerely | Jane Barlow6 [signature]
1. Page numbered 144 in pencil in top RH corner.
2. Year "(circa 1895)" written in pencil beneath "Feb. 11th ".
3. Barlow, J. (1894) Kerrigan's Quality, New York, Dodd, Mead, & Co.
4. Craik, George Lillie (1798-1866) Scottish newspaper editor, writer and historian; appointed later in life as a professor of English literature and history at Queen's College, Belfast.
5. Page numbered 145 in pencil in top RH corner.
6. Barlow, Jane (1857-1917) Irish novelist, noted for her poems describing the lives of the Irish peasantry, chiefly about Lisconnel and Ballyhoy, in relation to both landlords and the Irish potato famine.
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