notations used

(sic)          indicates errors or anomalies of spelling or syntax found in the original letter

strikethrough         used where words were struck out by the author of the letter

underline         used where the author of the letter underlined a word, or part thereof

The capitalization in the transcriptions reflects that of the originals.

The footnotes provide information or points of interest about famous writers and poets, literary works, and real people and places referred to in the letters.  In some cases, they are intended to provide historical, literary or cultural context.  In other cases, they are simply a hypothesis about the identity of the everyday people mentioned.  (Click on the superscript number to go directly to the footnoote, then click on the return arrow to go back to that point in the letter.)

All research for these footnotes was carried out on line.  Published sources will be consulted and properly referenced in future.  Excerpts of literary works have been copied from postings on line – further research of published sources pending. (…just in case I need a disclaimer…)

Many thanks are owed to Debra Davis for her careful editing of the transcription for the letters from 1878.