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Anna Sophia Grey

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Published : 1 Article
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Wife of Sir George Grey, who was Home Secretary, 1846-1852 (also later). In the Office Book, Wills assigned "Ballinglen" to himself alone. More than half of the item consists of a letter written, according to Wills's editorial comment, "to a friend" by "a lady who is nearly related to a Minister of State". Sending the letter, with other materials, to Wills, Dickens wrote, July 16 1851: "The enclosed note and its enclosed papers are from Lady Grey (Lord Grey's Wife). I have written to her. Can you make a chip out of them, and correct our orthography of the place?" 

Lady Grey's letter tells of her trip to the Ballinglen experimental farm in Ireland and gives details concerning the farm. An account of the establishment and progress of the farm had appeared in Sidney Smith's "The Spade in Ireland", April 26 1851. Such was the interest that the farm had aroused, wrote Smith, "that ladies of rank and quality ... have travelled alone and in mid-winter to the spot, to verify, with their own eyes, the reports of the overseer". The publication in H.W. of Lady Grey's letter was thus appropriate in that it gave readers an account of the farm by one of the "ladies of rank and quality"; the publication afforded also a means of correcting the misspelling (obviously a printer's mistranscription) that had appeared in Smith's article "Ballinglew" for "Ballinglen".

Author: Anne Lohrli; © University of Toronto Press, 1973.

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