ALEXANDER (Mrs Cecil Frances, 1818-1895, Hymn-writer and Poetess, wife of the Bishop of Derry)

Exceptional Autograph Letter Signed to Mrs Selwyn, wife of  George Augustus, (George Augustus Selwyn, 1809-1878, first Bishop of New Zealand, 1841, from 1868 Bishop of Lichfield) saying se is delighted "to do anything for you or your Bishop but it is very true that much of my hymns are copyright. Of those that you have named only the last two 'We are but Little Children' and 'When Wounded Sore' are at my disposal and I freely place them at your disposal. The first hymn you name 'For all thy Saints' is not mine. I enclose the hymns that I wrote lately and which have never been published, perhaps the Bishop might approve of them for the New Zealand collection ..." she goes on to apologise for her late reply as she has been away and hadn't been able to "get hold of the enclosures till today. Dear Caroline Abraham! the sight of you at Croydon brought her so vividly to my mind but it was not a place to speak of what was in one's heart. I should so have liked to have a good talk with you ... I hope we may be able some day to make out a visit to Lichfield when we are in England, it would gratify us both very much but the Bishop of Derry is generally in a hurry ...", 4 sides 8vo., The Palace, Derry, 27th October, no year, circa

She began writing verse in her childhood. Her religious work was strongly influenced by her contacts with the Oxford Movement and in particular with John Keble, who edited one of her anthologies. By the 1840s she was already known as a hymn writer. Her book, Hymns for Little Children reached its 69th edition before the close of the nineteenth century. She wrote some of the truly classic hymns and carols notably "All Things Bright and Beautiful", "There is a Green Hill Far Away" and "Once in Royal David's City".

Item Date:  1877

Stock No:  33382     


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