To Anne Thackeray, 22 November 1864

12 Harley St. W

Novr 22 1864

Dear Miss Thackeray, I

wish I could help you

to find Mary out.

But so far as I know,

that excellent girl has

(in the language of

Mr Carlyle) “vanished

into infinite space”. 


If my mother (to

whom I shall be writing

in a day or two) can help

in finding the lost

trace, I will let you

know immediately.  I

am always delighted

to be of any service

to you that I can—

however little. 

                 It is very kind

of you to help in

making Nice agreeable

to Charley and Katie.

have been recommending

them to go to Rome,

if the Nice climate

won’t do.


Very truly yours

Wilkie Collins


Anne Thackeray (1837-1919) was the eldest daughter of the poet William Makepeace Thackeray. The identity of Mary is not known but she was probably a servant of Wilkie's mother. It is not known how Anne Thackeray had helped his brother and wife in Nice during their trip to the Continent. Collins quotes from a misquotation of Carlyle which had appeared recently.

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