The Famous Miss Burney Opines On Lady Miller of BatheastonThursday, May 03, 2012
|Fanny Burney - Albumen print|
William Henry Fox Talbot 1840
January 6, 1840
…In the afternoon we all went to the Whalleys’, where we found a large and highly-dressed company: at the head of which sat Lady Miller. Among the rest were Mr. Anstey, his lady, and two daughters Miss Weston, Mrs. Aubrey, the thin quaker-like woman I saw first at Mrs. Laws’, Mrs. Lambert, and various others, male and female, that we knew not…
Do you know now that, notwithstanding Bath Easton is so much laughed at in London, nothing here is more tonish than to visit Lady Miller, who is extremely curious in her company, admitting few people who are not of rank or of fame, and excluding of those all who are not people of character very unblemished.
Some time after, Lady Miller took a seat next mine on the sofa, to play at cards, and was excessively civil indeed-scolded Mrs. Thrale for not sooner making us acquainted, and had the politeness of offer to take me to the balls herself, as she heard Mr. and Mrs. Thrale did not choose to go.
After all this, it is hardly fair to tell you what I think of her. However, the truth is, I always, to the best of my intentions, speak honestly what I think of the folks I see, without being biased either by their civilities or neglect; and that you will allow is being a faithful historian.
Well then, Lady Miller is a round, plump, coarse-looking dame of about forty, and while all her aim is to appear an elegant woman of fashion, all her success is to seem an ordinary woman in very common life, with fine clothes. Her manners are bustling, her air is mock-important, and her manners very inelegant.
So much for the lady of Bath Easton; who however, seems extremely good-natured, and who is I am sure extremely civil…
The Famous Miss Burney - The Diaries and Letters of Fanny Burney
Edited by Barbara G. Schrank and David J. Supino
Minerva Press, N York 1976