Anna Sewell letters found in Norfolk!


Who would have believed it? Previously unknown correspondence relating to the world-famous Norfolk Authoress has been discovered by this very excited local historian!

This eagle-eyed and passionate local historian has discovered a cache of letters and writings which have lain hidden for years, unknown to researchers and writers. It just goes to show that not everyone who sells on internet auction sites know what they are selling and not everyone who searches these sites know what they are looking at. How could such an important collection be found after so many years? We will never know. The person selling them, bought them in a job-lot and didn’t know what they were.

The collection of over fifty personal, family papers, include a corrected draft of a poem, written by Anna, after the death of her little niece, Blossom Johnson.

The published poem is copied below but the one in this collection has the crossings out and insertions of the writer.

“Seven young trees grew close together,

All fresh and green in the summer weather.

A little one, beautiful, tender, and tall,

Grew in the middle, the joy of them all

And lovingly twining their branches together,

They circled it round, in the fine summer weather.

On the Sabbath eve of an autumn day

The beautiful plant was taken away,

And left a lonely and leafless space

And nothing was found to fill the place —

Nothing of rich, nothing of rare,

Could fill the spot that was left so bare,

Nothing below, nothing above,

Could fill this empty spot but love.

Then closer the young trees grew together,

In the chilly days of that autumn weather

And every branch put forth a shoot,

And new life quickened at the root.

They grew in the winter, in spring they grew,

Silently nourished by heavenly dew

And when they came back to the summer weather,

One beautiful group they stood together

And their greenest leaves hung o’er the place

Where the youngest had stood in its tender grace.

Nothing below, nothing above,

Nothing can heal the hurt but love.”

What a great insight to the thoughts of this wonderful Norfolk woman, at a time of such great sorrow.


I show, below, the signature of this great author, in a letter to her brother, Philip.

Anna Sewell, Norfolk, Letters, Family history, Sewell, Philip Sewell, Sewell Barn,

Signature of Anna Sewell

About Glynn

I have been researching local & family history since 1977 and I'm passionate about this beautiful county and the people who have made it what it is. All of my own ancestors, discovered up to today, lived within fifty miles of where I live today and that means I am, as far as I know, a real Norfolk Dumpling, with a tiny bit of me from North Suffolk. :) My early origins were obviously from Scandinavia but I suspect that I have a bit of Roman blood in there too, as there was a very large Roman presence in the area.

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