Amelia Opie to Unknown: 5 April 1817


75 –Lamb’s Conduit Street 5th of April 1817


Dear Sir,


My cousin did not write to you on the subject of my note because he expected me in London


I arrived here about a week ago on particular business & have been so engaged by it that I have not been able to think of anything else or I should certainly have acknowledged as I ought, your kind attention.

But indeed dear Sir, I must

beg leave to decline the task you mention.

Had the Opera[1] been made by me from my own little work I should gladly have undertaken to translate it myself as a justice due to myself or at least to have revised the translation .

But as the drama is already formed, & as the translation of it will be under such excellent auspices as yours, I cannot see the necessity of my interfering; & I wish to avoid all appearance of responsibility.

After all you know, the success of the opera & its reputation here must depend on the music, the singing & the acting    & I have done nothing for it except so far as I have furnished it with strong & interesting situations —

The dialogue, be it bad, or be it good, is not mine but if my name appeared as the translator it would seem as if it were mine -& as if the ^tale> had found its way to a foreign stage not as is the case by its own popularity, but by my own executions-

 I know enough of you to know

that you will feel indulgent to this feeling of author’s vanity, & will excuse my refusal to comply with your request in this inclosure

I also trust that you will do me the justice to believe I relinquish very reluctantly an opportunity of complying with a request of yours —

I am,

Yours respectfully

Amelia Opie

I return to Norwich in two or three days—


Source: King and Pierce

Address: None

Postmark: None


[1] The Opera referred to in this letter may be L’Agnese, an opera based on an Italian adaptation of The Father and Daughter, which was performed at the King’s Theatre in London in 1817.  See Brightwell, Memorials of the Life of Amelia Opie, p 79.