1862-01-06, James T. Fields

Dublin Core


1862-01-06, James T. Fields


January 6, [1862], Wheeling

Mr. Fields

You seem determined that the burden of all my letters shall be “thank you”! I would not write about Sir Thomas Browne[1] however, until I saw how you had treated my old friend—and I do thank you now for him, for the delicate taste of his dress, and especially for the manner in which you introduce him yourself to modern readers. I mean the notes-portion—lastly—don’t you think you were too modestly short in the preface?

Many thanks again—I put the volume on my shelf for quiet hours, both for his sake and yours.

We will agree that that clergyman who preached about Margret was a man of taste—won’t we? I hope he did not think as some religious critic whose article I saw the other day denouncing me as a Fourierite[2] and wishing “he” (I) had an engraving of “The Light of the World”[3] so that I might know who Christ was! I couldn’t laugh because he was so sincere and earnest about it— I will begin another story soon.

The kindest wishes of the season for yourself, and the warmest kiss of the New Year for Mrs. Fields



1. In 1862 Ticknor & Fields published Religio Medici, a collection of essays by Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682), British author, physician, and scientist.

2. Reference to Charles Fourier (1772-1837), French philosopher recognized for his radically progressive social ideas and credited with coining the term “feminism” in 1837.

3. An 1860 engraving by British artist William Henry Simmons (1811-1882) based on the painting by British artist William Holman Hunt; each is based on Jesus’s words in the Bible, John 8:12.


S. M. Harris


Richard Harding Davis Papers, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia


S. M. Harris, “1862-01-06, James T. Fields,” Rebecca Harding Davis: Complete Works, accessed January 27, 2023, http://rebeccahardingdaviscompleteworks.com/items/show/116.

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