Helen Hunt Jackson 2-2-23g transcription
Helen Hunt Jackson Papers, Part 2, Ms 0156, Box 2, Folder 23g, Thomas
Niles to HHJ, 1877.
Dear Mrs Jackson
I am so sorry my last title does not please you. I have asked the opinion of a great many and they all, without hesitation, fix upon
Hetty's Strange History
as the very best of all.
If the reason you urge against it is a good one, why will not the same objection apply to
Mercy Philbrick's Choice
and hosts of other novels?
Bulwer has "strange story" wh. comes pretty near a "A Strange History". Kingsley has a "Hetty."
There is a novel called "Two Lives" I feel quite certain.
"Hetty Gunn" seems to me to be very weak as compared with Hetty's Strange History and the more I think about this latter & the oftener I write it the better I like it; it certainly arrests the attention quite as Effectively as did the mystery of "Mercy Philbrick's Choice"
One feels a desire to learn at once all about this Hetty who was she & what was her "Strange History?'
Do try to think with me on this subject? I shall feel very badly to adopt a title wh. does not please you - in fact I will not do so.
The Sonnets will have to go over till another year, I guess.
We are also having lovely weather without snows. Little Lewis & his father are on the farm at eastern Point - a Paradise for three months to come & both of them are in excellent health.
All proof went to you day before yesterday or rather on the 11th.
Yrs very truly
addressed as usual
[In HHJ's hand]
maintained by Special Collections; last revised, 6-2003, jr