My dear Henry
I have received your photogenic <2> together with your compliments in the cover – I laughed at the latter but felt quickly obliged to you for the former. It is by far the most perfect copy from nature which I have seen, & the distances are in admirable keeping –
Professors Moseley<3> & Hall were here on Saturday with some of their Pupils from Truro & they all agreed that they had seen nothing so perfect – I think I told you that a man here was applying your invention to register atmospheric changes of various kinds – I have not seen him since I came down, but I am told that he is satisfied with his success<4>.
I had a summons today to [illegible deletion] the Council of the association to consider the propriety of meeting at Birmingham. <5> I am sorry to find there is any doubt on this subject. It would be awkward, certainly of the Chartists should take a fancy to examine the contents of a philosopher’s brain by actual interpretation, but I should hope that they are not such things at Birmingham as that would suppose, & I think there can be no danger –
Do you intend to go there? It is a short distance from Lacock, & will carry you far on your way to Caroline <6> at Buxton<7> where I hope to pay her a visit –The frost in May has destroyed all our fruit, & the rain is doing its best to ruin my hay
Yrs very truly
1. Carclew, Cornwall, 3 mi N of Penryn: seat of Sir Charles Lemon.
2. Photogenic drawing.
3. Perhaps Prof Henry Moseley (1801-1872), Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and Astronomy, King’s College, London.
4. Thomas Brown Jordan, “On a New Mode of Registering the Indications of Meteorological Instruments”, Reports of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society, v. 6, 1838, pp. 184–189.
5. In spite of the concerns about political disruption, WHFT took full advantage of the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, which met in Birmingham in August 1839. He exhibited 93 specimens of negatives and positives. They were listed in a pamphlet, A Brief Description of the Photogenic Drawings Exhibited at the Meeting of the British Association, at Birmingham, in August, 1839, by H. F. Talbot, Esq..[See Doc. No: 03918].
6. Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808–1881); WHFT’s half-sister.