44 Queen Ann Street
Feb. 5th 1839
My Dear Mother
It appears that in point of fact M. Daguerre’s experiments <1> were prior to mine.
I have received a letter from M. Biot in which he says that he himself is able to attest that M. D.<2> has been occupied on the subject for fourteen years. I have received a very kind letter from Fazakerley, and have sent him a specimen<3> to St Leonards – I was very much amused at the Literary Gazette thinking, that this invention “would affect the temporal interests of many” –<4>
Today we have had a very foggy atmosphere quite unpropitious for the State procession of Opening the Session; however we have let the servants go and look, & they will fancy that they saw the Queen <9> at a distance.
Your affte son
3. An example of photogenic drawing. John Nicholas Fazakerley (1787–1852), MP.
4. Comparing photography's potential effect on the printing industry, which itself had largely supplanted hand copyists, they observed: "This discovery will doubtless make a great revolution in the arts of design; and, in a multitude of cases, will supersede old methods altogether inferior. The temporary interest of many may, at first, be affected; but whatever has the true character of good, cannot essentially do mischief." "French Discovery - Pencil of Nature", The Literary Gazette and Journal of belles lettres, science and art, no. 1150, 2 February 1839, p. 74.
5. Baden Powell, Tradition Unveiled; or, an exposition of the pretensions and tendency of authoritative teaching in the Church (London: 1839).
6. Followers of Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800–1882), theologian.
7. This might logically be interpreted as Charles Henry Fox Talbot, but what was being considered was actually Charles Henry Feilding Talbot - see the discussion before the birth of the Talbot's third child, which turned out to be a daughter: Doc. No: 03788. In the end, neither Feilding nor Fox was added to the son's name.
8. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.
9. Victoria (1819–1901), Queen of the United Kingdom (1837–1901), Empress of India (1876–1901).