Photo of 21 Chadwell Street

21 Chadwell Street

Pentonville, London

Excerpt of Letter to James and Emma Bird (Suffolk):

21 Chandos Street
Middleton Square
[late January 1832}

I really deserve your everlasting anger if your anger, which at all times must be like the dew on Summer Grass, could last so long… Circumstances have induced me to break off my engagement with Mr. Moodie and my mind has been so intently occupied with this unhappy business that I could think of nothing else. How is this I hear you say. Ah! Friend Bird our engagement was too hasty. I have changed my mind. You may call me a jilt, a flirt or whatever you please. I care not. I will neither marry a soldier nor leave my country for ever and feel happy that I am once more my own mistress. My visit with the dear never to be forgotten Pringles terminated last night. I parted with them with deep regret which was only softened by the pleasing conviction that from this time till the 21st of April I shall live within five minutes walk of them. I have become intimately acquainted with Miss Lawrence, the author of London in the Olden Time, with Mr. and Mrs. Leitch Ritchie both of who I love much, with Mr. and Mrs. Lee, and Derwent Conway and his wife. They all live quite near to me and Leitch has promised to help me on in the literary world. I admire him, he is a noble generous creature and his wife a sweet amiable young woman. By the strong recommendation of my friends I have been induced to board with a family for the next three months and try my fortune in the world of letters. I am to pay 12 10s per quarter. I have a nice back drawing room to write in and share Miss Jane Jones’s bed. I hope to get on and prosper. All my friends promise to call upon me in my new home. Am I not a venturesome girl! Ah! I have seen a great many strangers and have been shown up at Martin the Engravers for a Lioness. I am almost tired with compliments and sick of flattering encomiums on my genius. How these men in London do talk. I learn daily to laugh at their fine love speeches….