August 6[4?] 1844
My dear Talbot –
Though the drawings were familiar to us, we were delighted to get your beautiful book <1> and to read (which I did aloud for both) your simply written and interesting preface. As I could not please myself in any of the trials I made to pen something for the Book, I am most glad that I did not send you any thing
inferior at all – for, to have been in partnership with Sol without doing any thing worthy of the connexion would never have done for a poet - or rather would have done for me entirely.<2>
Yrs ever truly
1. WHFT, The Pencil of Nature (London: Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans, June 1844–April 1846 [issued in six fascicles]).
2. Moore is hesitant to compete with the Sun, the god Sol, sometimes seen as the god of music and poetry; his pen would have been in partnership with the pencil of nature. WHFT had requested Moore to write out his poetry so that it could be copied by photography, presumably for inclusion in facsimile in a future number of The Pencil of Nature. Moore had been interested in WHFT's photogenic drawings from the beginning: on 15 May 1839, he wrote to Lady Elisabeth Feilding, "I sat down to write you the other day, while we were at Lacock ... [we] ... enjoyed ourselves very much, for both Talbot and his collaboratuer, the Sun, were in high force & splendour, and
3. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.
4. The context is ambiguous here. She might have been recommending the Clarendon Hotel in Bond Street, one of London's finest. Or perhaps, given the next reference, she was alerting him to the recently published edition of the classic by Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon (1609-1674): History of the rebellion and civil wars in England (Oxford: University Press, 1843). There is a link between these, however, for when the Earl lost his Clarendon House, it was purchased by Thomas Bond and torn down to make way for Bond Street and the Albemarle Buildings; supposedly some of the original Corinthian pilasters were salvaged and incorporated into the new hotel.
5. Possibly some of the eight volume set of John Rushworth's Historical collections of private passages of state, weighty matters in law, remarkable proceedings ... Beginning the sixteenth year of King James, anno 1618. and ending...with the death of King Charles the First, 1648 (London: D. Browne, 1722).