Little is known about Fielding’s life in the years immediately following the publication of The Cry. As discussed in Chapter 7, her correspondence reveals that she hoped to have a play, possibly a historical piece based on the life of Queen Elizabeth, ready for the 1754–1755 London season. 1 In May or June of 1754, David Garrick wrote to Fielding offering a combination of critique and encouragement. He noted that the text she had sent him contained “good things” and was “apt for ye Times”; however, he added that the scenes were too long and it lacked “dramatic Spirit.” 2 These shortcomings, Garrick assured Fielding, could be “Easily remedied,” but he would not commit to staging the play until he reviewed a complete, revised text. 3 Garrick was a friend to Henry Fielding, and his letter, which hints that he and Sarah had spoken earlier about the play, is predictably cordial. Still, Garrick’s refusal to produce the play must have been disheartening for Fielding, who was suffering from one of the illnesses that defined her adult life. In her last letter from Beauford Buildings, Westminster, Fielding informs Richardson that she intended to discuss Garrick’s letter in person, but had been unable to do so because of her health. “There was a damp in the street,” she wrote, “that struck me down.” 4 Battestin and Probyn speculate that this illness—brought on no doubt by the cold, wet weather that marked the winter of 1754—may also have prevented Fielding from accompanying her brother and Jane Collier to Gravesend, from where Henry departed for Portugal. 5 In spite of her weakened state, Fielding remained hopeful that she would soon be healthy enough for social visits and able to resume her work. She looked forward to visiting with Susannah Highmore, daughter of the painter Joseph Highmore and member of the Richardson circle, and she anticipated seeing Richardson himself as he traveled to the site of his new home and printing shop in Parsons Green. Although Fielding planned to revise the play before Christmas, there is no indication that she ever sent a complete manuscript to Garrick. By July, she had moved to Bath, and her aspirations for the theater seem to have ended with her departure from London.