Thanks to Mariana, I can upload this article albeit taking too long a time. And no, the title does not refer to Thomas Langlois Lefroy. Not directly, at least! Below is the summary of what Mariana informed us a few weeks ago.
It’s about one of Jane’s letters written on 25 September 1813 from Godmersham Park (Wednesday, Nov. 3), in which she has a very interesting comment regarding S & S and the fact that she is “read & admired in Ireland too”. The letter is quoted below:
“Who has it next?-I am glad William's going is voluntary, & on no worse grounds. An inclination for the Country is a venial fault.-He has more of Cowper than of Johnson in him, fonder of Tame Hares & Blank verse than of the full tide of human Existence at Charing Cross.-Oh! I have more of such sweet flattery from Miss Sharp!-She is an excellent kind friend. I am read & admired in
We all know that Jane wanted to remain anonymous (Lord Brabourne edition): “There is also an interesting entry of the date of
Godmersham Park-Sept: 25. 1813: “People shall pay for their knowledge if I can make them. Henry heard P. & p. warmly praised in
The Irish admirer “happened” to be the wife of a judge and not any judge, but the one connected with Tom Lefroy. Even more interesting is the fact that Mrs. Fletcher was “all curiosity to know about me-what I am like & so forth. I am not known to her by name however.”
Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy - Chapter III
On the resignation of Judge Mayne, in 1820, he was offered the vacant seat in the Queen's Bench, by Earl Talbot, but he declined the offer. Again in the following year, on the resignation of Baron George, he was offered the vacant seat on the Exchequer Bench, by the Marquis of Wellesley, who had then succeeded Earl Talbot in the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland; and in 1823, on the death of Judge Fletcher, he was offered a seat in the Court of Common Pleas, also by Marquis of “Wellesley”.
To learn more about Judge Fletcher, read the old article of Connaught Journal of Galway, Ireland (Monday, June 9, 1823) here.
Both names, Gore and Carrick could be linked to Lefroy, although it might be a simple coincidence. Mariana could not find any other information about these two ladies other than a small review of Mrs Carrick for
Anyway, bottom line is that a Mrs. Fletcher, wife of Judge Fletcher, knew about Jane Austen’s book, and she was keen to know more about Jane. As Judge Fletcher was within Tom Lefroy’s circle, could it be that Tom Lefroy himself recommended the book to Mrs. Fletcher?
Or are Mariana and I reading too much between the lines?
Pic: Thomas Langlois Lefroy by G. Engleheart from the Independent UK