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Juliana Horatia Ewing And Her Books   By:

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[Illustration: Juliana Horatia Ewing]

JULIANA HORATIA EWING

AND HER BOOKS.

BY

HORATIA K.F. EDEN ( née GATTY).

SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE, LONDON: NORTHUMBERLAND AVENUE, W.C. 43, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E.C. BRIGHTON: 129, NORTH STREET. NEW YORK: E. & J.B. YOUNG & CO.

[Published under the direction of the General Literature Committee.]

PREFACE.

In making a Selection from Mrs. Ewing's Letters to accompany her Memoir, I have chosen such passages as touch most closely on her Life and Books. I found it was not possible in all cases to give references in footnotes between the Memoir and Letters; but as both are arranged chronologically there will be no difficulty in turning from one to the other when desirable.

The first Letter, relating Julie's method of teaching a Liturgical Class, should be read with the remembrance that it was written thirty two years ago, long before the development of our present Educational System; but it is valuable for the zeal and energy it records, combined with the common incident of the writer being too ill to appear at the critical moment of the Inspector's visit.

In a later letter, dated May 28, 1866, there are certain remarks about class singing in schools, which are also out of date; but this is retained as a proof of the keen sense of musical rhythm and accent which my sister had, and which gave her power to write words for music although she could play no instrument.

It is needless to add that none of the letters were intended for publication; they were written to near relatives and friends currente calamo , and are full of familiar expressions and allusions which may seem trivial and uninteresting to ordinary readers. Those, however, who care to study my sister's character I think cannot fail to trace in these records some of its strongest features; her keen enjoyment of the beauties of Nature, her love for animals, for her Home, her lares and penates ; and her Friends. Above all that love of GOD which was the guiding influence of everything she wrote or did. So inseparable was it from her every day life that readers must not be surprised if they find grave and gay sentences following each other in close succession.

Julie's sense of humour never forsook her, but she was never malicious, and could turn the laugh against herself as readily as against others. I have ventured to insert a specimen of her fun, which I hope will not be misunderstood. In a letter to C.T.G., dated March 13, 1874, she gave him a most graphic picture of the erratic condition of mind that had come over an old friend, the result of heavy responsibilities and the rush of London life. Julie had no idea when she wrote that these symptoms were in reality the subtle beginnings of a breakdown, which ended fatally, and no one lamented the issue more truly than she; but she could not resist catching folly as it flew, and many of the flighty axioms became proverbial amongst us.

The insertion of Bishop Medley's reply to my sister, April 8, 1880, needs no apology, it is so interesting in itself, and gives such a charming insight into the friendship between them.

The List of Mrs. Ewing's Works at the end of the Memoir was made before the publication of the present Complete Edition; this, therefore, is only mentioned in cases where stories have not been published in any other book form. All Mrs. Ewing's Verses for Children, Hymns, and Songs for Music (including two left in MS.) are included in Volume IX.

Volume XVII., "Miscellanea," contains The Mystery of a bloody hand together with the Translated Stories, and other papers that had appeared previously in Magazines.

In Volume XII., "Brothers of Pity and other tales of men and beasts," will be found Among the Merrows ; A Week spent in a Glass Pond ; Tiny's Tricks and Toby's Tricks ; The Owl in the Ivy Bush, and Owlhoots I... Continue reading book >>




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