September 16, 1858
"MY DEAREST CARY,
"_____ _____ wants materials for a speech, or something about Dunmail Raise. I had an old unﬁnished sonnet on it, sketched, with the view on the spot, so I hunted it up, and the crabbed task I have had to ﬁnish it has almost disgusted me with sonnet writing. Cramming one’s thoughts in that measure is like a carpet bag that won't shut . . . ."
FR referred to herself as a Anglo-Saxon enthusiast, which is why she would have visited Dunmail Raise and started a piece of poetry about it. Dunmail Raise is a pass on the Keswick-Kendal road which in AD 945 was the scene of a bloody battle between the King of Cumbria and the Saxon King Edmund First and Malcolm, King of Scots.
Stories of heroism moved FR; she was always a Romanticist. Trying to cram her romantic thoughts into the sonnet form would certainly have left her feeling cramped—and crabby.