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Lot 88
GENLIS, STÉPHANIE-FÉLICITÉ, Madame de (1746-1830, French writer)
Sold for £960 (US$ 1,481) inc. premium

Lot Details
GENLIS, STÉPHANIE-FÉLICITÉ, Madame de (1746-1830, French writer)
AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED ('D. Genlis'), TO HER GRAND-DAUGHTER PAMELA FITZGERALD ('pamy'), daughter of the Irish republican Lord Edward Fitzgerald (1763-1798) and his wife Pamela, the latter the daughter or 'adopted' daughter of Madame de Genlis herself, instructing her that the 'greatest happiness in this life is to love what one ought to love' and, that while she should take pleasure in the difficulty of learning German, she should never equate German literature with English or French literature, partly because it is 'brand new' ('...There are things of great beauty in several of their works [but] they possess not a single good work. They are imitators of the English, without having that true innate taste that is to be found in all English authors, even those of second rank, and which the great authors of your own nation have to an outstanding degree. There is a certain affectation and blandness in sentimental works in German which make for dull reading, and some incomprehensible gibberish besides...'); Madame de Genlis also gives her news of the younger Pamela's 'loving and excellent' mother ('...She has become plumper, whiter and younger and as pretty as an angel...improving her mind and her talents: she paints and engraves beautifully, and adds to her various delightful and instructive collections...'), stresses how much her mother loves her ('...Her love for you, so natural, is very touching: you fill her heart, her thoughts and her imagination...'), and sends her a copy of her own 'Moïse' ('...it is said to be of some interest and more carefully done than anything else I have written...'); she ends 'I kiss you from the depth of my soul', in French, 2 pages, quarto, integral address panel 'Pour Miss FitzGerald', lightly foxed, 1 December 1812

Footnotes

  • 'THE SCRIBBLING TROLLOPE' TO HER GRANDDAUGHTER? Whether or not the elder Pamela Fitzgerald (1776?-1831) was anything more than Madame de Genlis's 'adopted' daughter has always been open to controversy, though the probability is that she was and that the father was the Duke of Orleans (Égalité). Horace Walpole, who called Madame de Genlis 'the scribbling trollope', said she had educated Pamela 'to be very like herself in the face.' At this time of the present letter the elder Pamela was living in Toulouse while her children were in Ireland. The younger Pamela, known in the family as 'little Pam', was later married to General Sir Guy Campbell.
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