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Document number: 5028
Date: 06 Aug 1844
Dating: 4th or 6th?
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: MOORE Thomas (poet)
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA44-46
Last updated: 9th December 2014

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>

Many thanks to Mrs Talbot<3> for thinking of the Clarendon for me –<4> I have some Rushworths<5> to send back as soon as I have an opportunity.

Yrs ever truly
Thomas Moore


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 only I promised to write something about their joint doings, if I could get paper sensitive enough for the purpose." (Fox Talbot Collection, The British Library, LA39-37). On 4 September 1844 Moore began his attempts with "Dear Harp of My Country" - there is an ink manuscript document in his hand dated that day in the Fox Talbot Collection, The British Library, that was used by WHFT to make several contact negatives; it is horizontal in format and Moore also made at least one vertical attempt (now missing). Four of these negatives are in the Talbot Collection of the National Media Museum, Bradford: 1937-2448, Schaaf 625; 1937-2450, Schaaf 626; 1937-2451, Schaaf 627; and a variation in a vertical format, 1937-2452, Schaaf 628. Another is in the British Library Fox Talbot Collection, Acc. no. 228, Schaaf 755. Several prints from these are in various collections.

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).