[Louisa Baldwin (née Louisa Baldwin), one of the 'Macdonald Sisters', mother of Stanley Baldwin and aunt of Rudyard Kipling.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Louie') to her brother Rev. Frederic William Macdonald, discussing the naming of his fourth child.

Louisa Baldwin [née Louisa Macdonald] (1845-1825), wife of industrialist Alfred Baldwin (1841-1908), mother of Stanley Baldwin and aunt of Rudyard Kipling [Rev. Frederic William Macdonald (1842-1928)]
Publication details: 
Place not stated. 15 April 1874.
SKU: 15038

A characteristic letter by one of the celebrated 'Macdonald Sisters'. (Louisa Baldwin was the youngest of the four. Her eldest sister Alice was Rudyard Kipling's mother; the next oldest Georgiana married the Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones; and the third Agnes married the president of the Royal Academy Edward Poynter.) 8pp., 12mo. On two bifoliums, both with mourning borders and the Baldwin crest as letterhead. In good condition, lightly-aged. Writing to 'My dear Fred', she begins by apologising for not having acknowledged the 'good news of a fortnight ago' (the child had been born on 3 April). She was 'ill in bed at the time', but is now recovered and 'all is well'. She is pleased her brother's wife Mary (née Cork) Louisa Baldwin's brother had already had three children with his wife Mary (née Cork) 'progresses well, & that baby is jolly & big. You ask the Mammy & me what we think of Julius for his name & since you do so may we say we dont think it goes very well with Macdonald. Were you thinking of those noble Hare brothers, [the authors Julius and Augustus Hare] if so doesn't Marcus Macdonald sound better, & the alliteration good?' She announces that she will amuse herself 'with writing a list for Mary & you'. She begins by observing that if the child is also called Frederic, 'the world is so coarse it would call you old & young Frederic very soon, & the sound of your own name for two would be rather weird.' She next suggests 'Wilfred' as a 'name containing a syllable of each of your two names, & therefore complimentary to a parent's feelings? Or Eric, which is the ending of Frederic?' Lists of 'names of one syllable', '2 syllable names' and 'names of 3 syllables' follow, after the last of which she writes: 'Names of 4, 5 & 6 syllables I leave to you with your greater research.' She adds, tongue in cheek, 'Should you wish to compliment me & the House of Bourbon in a breath call him Louis Macdonald, or perhaps if you asked very pretty I'd even let him be named Baldwin. What do you say to a good long string of family names, which is always vastly <?> especially when tied together with ever so many hyphens? Thus - Cork-Kipling-Merrikin-Poynter-Birrell-Baldwin-Jones-Macdonald. That's a style much affected at present. Also if you wish to count his number as well as call him names, there is Quintus ready to hand. Lawrence is good, tho' as you observe it rhymes with Florence.' In the rest of the letter she discusses a book he has sent her (not 'intellectually equal to "Christ the Consoler"), and another she is reading titled 'Why am I a Christian?' by Viscount Stratford de Radcliffe. In the event Frederic did not take his sister's advice, and the boy was named Julius Frederic Macdonald. He died in 1949.