The Manufacture Of Tinplate

George Eliot said that a happy home life was a necessity for her to write. It seems the same was true for Dobson, who churned out all those innumerable out of print pamphlets while living in domestic bliss with Marigold Chew. But was happiness indeed the spur for his indefatigable pamphleteering? Quite the opposite was the case with Emanuel Swedenborg, as we learn from Eric John Dingwall. In Very Peculiar People : Portrait Studies In The Queer, The Abnormal And The Uncanny (1950) Mr Dingwall has a paragraph which ends superbly:

“As the years went by Swedenborg became more energetic than ever. His passion for women still tormented him, for, since the rejection of his suit by the young Emerentia Polhem about 1717, he apparently contracted no other alliance. There is no doubt that his failure to win her hand had affected him deeply, but he quickly steeled himself against allowing emotion to upset his work. He promptly published a pamphlet on the manufacture of tinplate.”

What this might indicate about the home life of our own dear Dobson is worthy of speculation.

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