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March 1874

Charles Kingsley, Canon of Westminster, novelist, naturalist and chaplain to Queen Victoria, lectured on “Greece in the Day of Her Glory.” “He was exceedingly reserved, indifferent and hard to entertain. The only interest he showed was towards Miss Mitchell, whom he called upon at the observatory.

‘My wife would never forgive me if I came home without seeing Miss Mitchell….’ When asked if he would take some refreshment, Mr. Kingsley frankly mentioned that he would like a glass of beer. The situation might have been embarrassing had not Professor [of English Truman] Backus come to the rescue and carried the guest off to his study for a pipe and chat and bottle of ale….”

Frances A. Wood, Earliest Years at Vassar

The Years