St Michael’s Mount
My Dear Henry
I am writing to you from a delightful Boudoir opening on a terrace overlooking the Sea, 253 feet above
the it, the waves blue like the Mediterranean. This house on the top of a rock takes my fancy more than any thing I have seen in Cornwall. I hope you will have found two Letters Poste restante at Paris. You have written very seldom to us, totally forgetting the agreement we made before your departure that you were to write, & we to be written to, we having nothing to say & you everything.
I made the same arrangement with Louisa <1> & have not written to her once, but received her descriptions whenever she was inclined to communicate. We have paid a visit at Lord Dunstanville’s <2> & tomorrow go to Lord Falmouth’s <3> & then into Dorsetshire. Pray come to us at Moreton, <4> your aunt <5> will be so glad to see you, & I shall be so impatient I could not bear you to spend your first moments any where where I was not. I am so happy to think yr Mountain air has done you so much good, & only fear you will not be inclined to go again with us. You will find Kit <6> in Dorsetshire, he is going afterwards to Paris. Caroline <7> has to day completed her twelve vignettes for Mr Moore’s Legends <8> by the time you come back you will see her in print. How I should like to see you so! has the rarefied air of the Alps inspired you? Your friend Sir Richard Vyvyan <9> has been writing on Political Œconomy, & has now on the Stocks some work of metaphysics. He is building, so we could not go there as he said the house was not in a fit state to receive Ladies. I was the firs[t]<10> person presented to the little Queen of Portugal <11> after her landing, but I suppose your Sisters <12> have told you all about it. I like very much what Harrison <13> has done to this house, he has built one of the most comfortable libraries I ever saw & fitted it up himself with oak book cases in very good taste, he did the whole of it. Caroline is writing to you so no more at present –
God bless you Dearest
Monsieur Fox Talbot
1. Louisa Emma Petty Fitzmaurice, née Fox Strangways, Marchioness of Lansdowne (1785-1851), wife of Henry Petty Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne; Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria, 1837-1838; WHFT's aunt.
2. Francis Basset, 1stBaron de Dunstanville and Basset (1757–1835), MP, FRS, and political writer. In 1824, his second marriage was to Harriet, née Lemon (1777–1864), WHFT's aunt.
3. Edward Boscawen, 1st Earl of Falmouth (1787–1841).
4. Moreton, Dorset: home of the Frampton family.
5. Lady Harriot Frampton, née Fox Strangways (1778 - 6 Aug 1844); dau of Henry Thomas Fox Strangways, 2nd Earl of Ilchester and Mary Theresa O'Grady; she married James Frampton (1769-1855) in 1799.
6. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803–1890), immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
7. Lady Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding (1808-1881); WHFT's half-sister; Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria, 1840–1854 & 1863–1865..
8. Thomas Moore, Legendary Ballads (London: J. Power, 1828); vignettes engraved by R.L. Wright 'after C.A.F.' [Caroline Augusta Feilding].
10. Text torn away under seal.
11. Maria II (1819–1853), Queen of Portugal (1834–1853).
12. Caroline Edgcumbe and Henrietta Horatia Maria Gaisford, née Feilding (1810–1851), WHFT’s half-sister.
13. Henry Harrison (1785?-1865), London architect who was being consulted about proposed changes to the South Front of Lacock Abbey. He was active the parish of St James’s, London, which included Sackville Street. Around 1830, he worked on WHFT’s uncle, Sir Charles Lemon's Carclew House, Cornwall.