20 MARCH 1942, Page 13


Slit,—Mr. Edmund Blunden, in his admirable study of Thomas Hardy, which I have Just read with immense pleasure states that Coventry Patmore once appraised a number of English novelists who included Thackeray, Trollope, George Eliot, Mrs. Gaskell, Hardy and Mrs. L. B. Walford. I have an extensive acquaintance with the names and even with the works of authors in English, but until I saw her name in Mr. Blunden's book, I was ignorant even of Mrs. Walford's existence. She must have been a writer of some consequence in. the middle of the last century, yet there is no reference to her in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, nor is she mentioned in Charn'aers' Bio- graphical Dictionary or the Cambridge History of English Literature. Who was Mrs. Walford, and how is it possible that a writer important enough to have been included in such company as that by Coventry Patmore should almost have disappeared from memory?—Yours, &c.