BURNEY, Charles, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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BURNEY, Charles (1726-1814). Musician, author and father of Fanny Burney.
Autograph draft reply to a letter written on behalf of Charlotte, Princess of Wales, by her sub-governess Martha Udney, 1 page 8vo (oblong, some corner damage). From Hotwells, Bristol, September [1806]. Promising to examine the pianoforte at Warwick House upon his return to London, signed at the foot 'C.B.'.
'... if the instrument has any defect in touch, tone, or regulation of the Hammers, I am certain that the maker will readily correct them at my instigation on pointing them out. Or if ... the Instrument c[oul]d not be all that I wish, and all that it sh[oul]d be for the great Personage it has been purchased, I will venture to promise that it shall be changed whenever I can find a better in the maker's work-shop. ...'

Burney was writing in reply to a "most flattering" letter sent to him on the Princess's behalf on 3 September 1806 (now in Yale University Library's Osborn Collection): '... The very high honour of her R.H. the Princess Charlotte's condescension in forming a wish for anything in my limited power is a circumstance so gratifying to my vanity & zeal as I dare not attempt to describe. ...'.

This draft has been marked by Fanny Burney with one of her characteristic editorial symbols: a slanted cross with three dots. She used these symbols to classify her father's letters in preparation for a projected volume of his correspondence which was to follow the 1832 edition of his memoirs.

Reference: J. Hemlow, J.M. Burgess & A. Douglas, A Catalogue of the Burney Family Correspondence, 1749-1878, 1971, page 50 (for Udney's letter to Burney, 3 September 1806).
[No: 25478]


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