Essays by Alice Meynell
By Alice Meynell

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{1} It is worth noting that long after the writing of this paper, and the ascription of a Stevenson-like character to the quoted phrase, a letter of Stevenson’s was published, and proved that he had read Lucy Hutchinson’s writings, and that he did not love her. “I have possessed myself of Mrs. Hutchinson, whom, of course, I admire, etc. . . I sometimes wish the old Colonel had got drunk and beaten her, in the bitterness of my spirit. . . The way in which she talks of herself makes one’s blood run cold.” He was young at that time of writing, and perhaps hardly aware of the lesson in English he had taken from her. We know that he never wasted the opportunity for such a lesson; and the fact that he did allow her to administer one to him in right seventeenth-century diction is established–it is not too bold to say so–by my recognition of his style in her own. I had surely caught the retrospective reflex note, heard first in his voice, recognized in hers.

{2} I found it afterwards: it was Rebecca.


Ceres’ Runaway  •  Wells  •  Rain  •  The Tow Path  •  The Tethered Constellations  •  Rushes and Reeds  •  A Northern Fancy  •  Pathos  •  Anima Pellegrina!  •  A Point of Biography  •  The Honours of Mortality  •  Composure  •  The Little Language  •  A Counterchange  •  Harlequin Mercutio  •  Laughter  •  The Rhythm of Life  •  Domus Angusta  •  Innocence and Experience  •  The Hours of Sleep  •  Solitude  •  Decivilized  •  The Spirit of Place  •  Popular Burlesque  •  Have Patience, Little Saint  •  At Monastery Gates  •  The Sea Wall  •  Tithonus  •  Symmetry and Incident  •  The Plaid  •  The Flower  •  Unstable Equilibrium  •  Victorian Caricature  •  The Point of Honour  •  The Colour of Life  •  The Horizon  •  In July  •  Cloud  •  Shadows  •  The Seventeenth Century  •  Mrs. Dingley  •  Prue  •  Mrs. Johnson  •  Madame Roland  •  Fellow Travellers With a Bird  •  The Child of Tumult  •  The Child of Subsiding Tumult  •  The Unready  •  That Pretty Person  •  Under the Early Stars  •  The Illusion of Historic Time  •  Footnotes  • 

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