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Sabine Baring-Gould

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Category: Literature
Reference No: 10397
Status: Available
Price: £50.00
  Sabine Baring-Gould

click on the small image to see a larger version


Anglican priest and writer.

Baring-Gould’s bibliography consists of more than 1240 publications, but he is now largely remembered as a writer of hymns.

His most famous hymn is Onward, Christian Soldiers, whose words were written in 1865 and set to music by Arthur Sullivan in 1871.

Baring-Gould himself thought his main achievement was the collection of folk songs that he made with the help of the ordinary people of Devon and Cornwall. His first book of songs, Songs and Ballads of the West (1889–91), was published in four parts between 1889 and 1891. The musical editor for this collection was Henry Fleetwood Sheppard.

Baring-Gould and Sheppard produced a second collection named A Garland of Country Songs during 1895.

Baring-Gould was also a prolific novelist and in 1880 published Mehalah, a Gothic story of mad obsession, horror and murder that caused a sensation at the time and was compared by critics such as Swinburne to Wuthering Heights. It was written during the period from 1871 to 1881 when he was Rector of East Mersea (the island near Colchester) and absorbed the bleak landscape of salt marshes and river he evokes so well in the book.
John Herring ("A west of England Romance"), published in 1883, was also popular.

This is a letter in ink, in Baring-Gould's tiny handwriting, on a sheet of 7" x 4.25" notepaper (E.Mersea Rectory, Colchester, Whitsun Tuesday), in which he complains about his wife's driving (of a carriage!)
He writes (in full):

My dear Wardell,

I must apologise for not answering your letter earlier. I was from home all week and I had no time to reply on Sunday or yesterday.

I fear it is not possible for me to preach as your father asks; my time will now be as fully occupied till I go down to Devon as can be, indeed I have not time to sneeze with (it) all the work I have to do.

I am going to to ask you to do my wife a favour some day. I shall be in town next week and return, probably on Saturday.

She will drive in and meet me, returning from town, but is very timorous of driving in the town, especially on a market day, as she is not much of a Jehu* & she intends to drive up to your door and to beg you kindly to take the reins as far as the Red Lion.

I remain


S.Baring Gould

One horizontal and one vertical correspondence fold. There's a 1" split to the left edge of the horizontal fold and light overall foxing but general condition is good.

* "Jehu" was an Old Testament king renowned for his driving of a chariot.