Part f. 35r - Letter from Herman Merivale to Lord Houghton

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Crewe MS/9/f. 35r


Letter from Herman Merivale to Lord Houghton


  • 2[4?] Jan. 1866 (Creation)

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1 folded sheet

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India Office.—Queries the identification of a character in Cyril Thornton with General O’Hara.



India Office.
Jan. 24. 66

Dear Lord Houghton

I have been studying your “suggestive” article on the Miss Berrys {1}, if yours it is, and am much puzzled with one passage in it. You say the “bachelor” described in Cyril Thornton {2} is General O’Hara: but described as “of the age of sixty seven.” If so, the General must have been 67 at least—say about 70—when he died. But he died in 1802. Could he have been described by Horace Walpole in 1791, at sixty, as “with his face as ruddy and black and his teeth as white as ever!”? and could he have been between sixty and seventy when he made a fool of himself at Toulon against Napoleon? and when he made love to Miss Berry, which would have been making more of a fool of himself still? I cannot help thinking ther is some mistake of date, but I have not Cyril Thornton at hand.

Very truly yours
H. Merivale


{1} Houghton’s unsigned review of Extracts in the Quarterly Review, Jan. 1866 (vol. cxix, pp. 154–81).

{2} Thomas Hamilton’s novel The Youth and Manhood of Cyril Thornton, first published in 1827.

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