NPG 1009 (4a)

Typed copy of a letter from Helen Taylor to Emilia Frances, Lady Dilke, dated 20 November 1873, concerning G.F. Watts's portrait of her step-father John Stuart Mill.

20. Novr. 1873.

My dear Lady Dilke

The kindness and generosity of your offer would make me feel, even if I had not felt it before, that no one has a better right to the portrait of my dear step-father than you and Sir Charles Dilke. I feel how glad you must be now that you asked him to sit for it, as I am that I urged him to consent to Sir Charles Dilke's request. It was meant for you, and that to me gives you a right to it which is sacred.

Yet I own I did feel coveteous of it; but for the public. For myself, after your generous offer I will ask you to let me come and look at it sometimes, but I would give much now to have such a portrait where it could be seen by all who live and look up to his name and work; and when I saw you I felt that I should have liked to ask you to allow the first portrait to be copied for me in order that I might give it to the nation. If you and Sir Charles Dilke would allow this I would ask Mr Watts whether he would consent himself to make an exact copy for me.

Believe me,
Yours ever most truly,