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Volume 29 resumes themes begun in earlier letters: Thomas's flirtatious exchanges with Lady Ashburton, the recent death of his mother, the improvement of his soundproof room, and his struggle to pursue his research for Frederick the Great. Other notable items include Dickens's dedication of Hard Times to Thomas and Thomas's support of G. H. Lewes during the scandal over Lewes's affair with George Eliot. The highlight of the volume is a passionate and humorous letter by Jane, subtitled "Budget of a Femme Incomprise," in which she defends the rising cost of running their house.