James T. Fields

Dublin Core


James T. Fields


August 9, [1861], Wheeling 

Mr. Fields

I am very glad.— The story disappointed me, and I was afraid you would not like it. It was so much like giving people broken bits of apple-rind to chew.     

Divide it as you please, certainly, and alter the Teagarden[1] as you choose. Do you like the other names?                        

About the other minor points (and I breathe freely that they are so minor).  The weather is all right for our Indian summers; however I will alter it if it affects your calmer New England temperaments.  How would it do, Mr. Fields, for you to return me all the ms. but the first division, and suffer me to revise it, leaving out the repeated words &c &c? You have the first copy, the only one, indeed, or I should not trouble you so much.  I think I can improve it, now; although it has not laid away even nine weeks: besides, if I could send you each division as you need it, I could make it more truly a story of the day. I say all but the first division, because I hope you will begin its publication soon. Forgive me, but I am afraid if it was kept long it would be as stale as uncorked champagne.

As to the money, I would be glad if you could send me the first $40 now, and the remainder each month as you propose, if quite convenient to you.  At home they think I might write under my name with this story, what do you advise? You did not think I imitated Charlotte Bronté,[2] did you? I would rather you had sent it back, than thought that, but tell me candidly if you did. I may have done it unconsciously—

Yours, sincerely

[1] A character’s name in “A Story of To-Day,” published in book form as Margret Howth.

[2] Brontë (1816-1855), an extremely popular British author best known for the novel Jane Eyre (1847).


S. M. Harris


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


S. M. Harris, “1861-08-09
James T. Fields,” Rebecca Harding Davis: Complete Works, accessed September 29, 2023, https://rebeccahardingdaviscompleteworks.com/items/show/34.

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