Correspondence between Papa and Charley

Googling the net for Conyers Middleton and John Dryden, I happened to find an edition of correspondence between a father and a son in eighteenth-century America. The links to Middleton and Dryden are minimal, but this is an interesting find. It is titled Dear Papa, Dear Charley. The Peregrinations of a Revolutionary Aristocrat, as Told by Charles Carroll of Carrollton and His Father, Charles Carroll of Annapolis, with Sundry Observations on Bastardy, Child-Rearing, Romance, Matrimony, Commerce, Tobacco, Slavery, and the Politics of Revolutionary America. The editors are Ronald Hoffman, Sally D. Mason, and Eleanor S. Darcy, and it has been published already in 2001 by the University of North Carolina Press; see this site for more information. A selection of letters and some information of the Carrolls can be found here.

To give an example of the edited letters, here is an extract of Elizabeth Carroll’s letter to her son in 1758. "You are always at heart my dear Charly & I am never tired asking yr Papa questions about you some times to tease, he answers me that you are a good for no thing Ugly little fellow, but when he Speaks his Real Sentiments of you there is not any thing can give me greater Comfort." 

This seems to be a good-quality edition even by the standards of picky linguists; e.g. ampersands and abbreviations have been retained (though superscripts, if there are any, probably haven’t), and changes in the layout, different hands, and even self-corrections are commented upon in footnotes. See, for example, the son’s letter of 1774: the footnote to the sentence ‘No persons[1] are admitted’ provides the information that ‘CCC [the writer] first wrote and then struck out "strangers."

 

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