Amelia Opie to Unknown: 2 September 1831


Dear friend,

My guest, & I have been very unwell, but hope to be able to have the pleasure of waiting on you on 2nd day (Monday) next-

you were not aware, nor was I at the moment, dear friends, of the difficulty into which your request concerning Raciné threw me into—

As a Friend I could not receive you to hear any one quaker friends J[1] & Mary[2] <fear> ^that> Lucien[3] read Raciné[4] to me we agreed that I must not allow him in my house to read to others —

However, I ceased to regret this impossibility when I heard him read aloud to others than myself –He failed completely – from timidity & want of practice –therefore he would have done the same when reading to you.

Indeed he himself felt he was not equal to it & yesterday he spat blood

You see therefore, that it will be impossible for him under any circumstances to do what you wish & will kindly excuse the refusal —

With best regards to you all

I am,

Thine very truly

A Opie

L leaves me on 4th day (Wed) next.

9th Mo 2nd 1831


Source: King and Pierce

Address: None

Postmark: None


[1] Joseph John Gurney (1788-1847). See Edward Hill Milligan. “Gurney, Joseph John (1788-1847).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004.

[2] Mary Gurney née Fowler, Joseph John Gurney’s second wife (1802-1835). See Milligan.

[3] Lucien St. Firmin was a young man Opie met during her recent trip to Paris and who stayed with Opie throughout the summer of 1831 in her home in Norwich, where he seemed to have been a charming if troublesome guest. See King and Pierce, Collected Poems of Amelia Alderson Opie, Oxford UP 2009, p 572-3.

[4] Jean Baptiste Racine was a French dramatist, and an important literary figure in the Western tradition.