'[letter from M. Jusserand to Mrs Ward] 'I spent yesternight a most charming evening reading your essay [on the Brontes]. Shall I confess that I feel with Kingsley, having had a similar experience. I could never go beyond the terrible beginning of "Shirley" - and yet I tried and did my best, and the book remains unread, and I the more sorry as my copy does not belong to me, but to Lady Jersey, who charged me to return it when I had finished reading. I really tried earnestly: I took the volume with me on several occasions; it has seen, I am sure, as many lands as wise Ulysses, having crossed the Mediterranean more than once and visited Assuan. But there it is, and I see from my writing-table its threatening green cloth and awful back, with plenty of repulsive persons within. And yet I [italics] can [end italics] read. I have read with delight and unflagging interest Vol. I in-folio of the Rolls of Parliament, without missing a line. "Shirley", I cannot'.