English, Department of



Kathleen Adams

Date of this Version


Document Type



The George Eliot Review 27 (1996) Published by The George Eliot Fellowship, http://georgeeliot.org/


The George Eliot Review 2018 (27)


At the beginning of the year a donation was made to Coventry's Herbert Art Gallery and Museum of a box of papers relating to the Fridlanders, a nineteenth-century Coventry watch-making family. Annie Fridlander was a friend of Charles and Caroline (known as Cara) Bray and of Cara's sister, Sara Hennell.1t was not surprising, therefore, to find that some of the letters in the box were written by them to Annie. What was quite unexpected was to discover a tiny envelope containing a short letter from Marian Evans (George Eliot) to Cara Bray, her beloved Coventry friend.

The envelope and letter are on faded white paper with no watermark. The tiny envelope Measures 11 ½ cm. x 4 ¾ cm. and is inscribed Mrs. Bray in Marian's hand. The letter must have been delivered by hand or enclosed in another letter as it bears no address, stamp or posnnark. The colour of the ink on both envelope and letter is faded black but, at the top of the envelope, 1856 has been written in blue ink. It is not possible to say by whose hand.