Lord Edward FitzGerald & Mr William Ogilvie


In the Correspondence of Emily, Duchess of Leinster (vol. 2, p. 40), Lord Edward FitzGerald writes his mother, with reference to William Ogilvie, his step-father:

 “Dublin, August 1783

             Dearest Mother, Though I am afraid I shall not make out a better letter than my last, yet I am determined to try.  I have to be sure an example to copy from, Mr. O.’s letter from Llangollen — I believe meant on purpose to shew me that there is not necessity for a great deal of matter.  In short, anybody who has a great deal to say can make a long letter, but the thing is to write a long letter without having anything to say.”

The accompanying footnote by editor Brian FitzGerald explains the reference to Llangollen: Mr Ogilvie frequently broke his journeys to and from Ireland at Llangollen, when he visited the ‘Old Ladies’….Needless to say, Sarah and Eleanor would hardly have been old in Lord Edward’s time.


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