Janry 30th 1844
My dear Mother
Do not stick into the album the 3 views representing the Cathedral of Orleans; <3> they are too faint, & I have now got much better ones – I am very glad to hear you had such a fine passage & liked the Sea breezes so much –
Constance <4> & all the children are laid up with bad colds and coughs which are generally called influenza. So sad and ailing the family has not been for a very long while – I am the only one who have [sic] hitherto escaped the complaint. Mr Kenrick <5> gives a bad report of the whole neighbourhood – It is a most sickly season, & I am glad you & Horatia <6> are away.
The Spring is now announcing its near approach; the thrushes are beginning to sing most melodiously –
Your journal is safe locked up in one of my drawers.
Write to Sackville St <7>
Mr Kenrick thought these colds would prove the hooping [sic] cough – now he thinks not.
1. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803–1890), immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
2. Margam Park, Glamorgan: home of Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot.
3. For an image of this see “One of the Towers of Orleans Cathedrals, as Seen from the Opposite Tower”, Schaaf 2728, reproduced in Larry J. Schaaf, The Photographic Art of William Henry Fox Talbot (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), p. 164.
4. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.
5. Dr George Cranmer Kenrick, surgeon living at The Grove, Melksham.
6. Henrietta Horatia Maria Gaisford, née Feilding (1810–1851), WHFT’s half-sister.
7. 31 Sackville Street, London residence of the Feildings, often used as a London base by WHFT.