GEORGE ELIOT CONNECTION
NEWDIGATE, Frances Barbara (b.1821), of Kirk Hallam. Autograph letter signed from Frances B. Newdigate to Captain Gardiner, 5 sides, 16mo, Kirk Hallam, September 13th [c1849], asking him to distribute prospectuses concerning her forthcoming publication, "I shall be very grateful if you will sow where they are likely to produce fruit! Perhaps you would take charge of three or four out of the number if you are going this long round by new South Wales to Nova Scotia ......... Roderick is to be published. Cundall was so keen to do it & offered to take the whole risk if I would let him do it, that I thought it would be weak to refuse, in spite of my previous resolutions ....... there is to be a large paper size as I was obliged to add it on this first batch of prospecti", and regarding Gardiner's travels "I hope you mean to do a great many sketches in these different ends of the world you are going to visit, & that I shall have the benefit of them when you return. I shall be quite ready to do sandwich for them as of course they are to be published."
This letter concerns the publication of Illustrations to Southey's Roderick published by Joseph Cundall, London 1850, for which Frances provided the illustrations. Frances Barbara Newdigate (b.1821) was the daughter of Francis Newdigate and Barbara (née Legge) of Kirk Hallam, and Arbury. She married Henry Lynedoch Gardiner in 1849 in Lewisham, Kent (home of the Legge family). The Newdigate's land agent was Robert Evans, father of Marian Evans, better known as the famous novelist George Eliot (1819-1880). George Eliot drew upon the contrast between the lives of the estate tenants and that of the prosperous landed Newdigate family in her novels.