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Document number: 7231
Date: 23 Feb 1856
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: TALBOT Ela Theresa
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number: envelope 20735
Last updated: 7th March 2012

Febry 23d /56

My dear Papa,

thank you for your letter from Lacock, which I ought to have already answered. – I am glad you found the garden so gay, I should think by this time the violets must be in flower, and the primroses if they are not greatly behind hand. – Have you seen my purple Daphne? (the one Mamie gave me, that flowered so well last year, & smells so sweet). It ought to be in a pot in the green-house. – I suppose the Camelia, Wilkins is so proud of, is the one given him by Mr Barton, which looked drooping last year and caused him some anxiety. – The weather here yesterday and today is delightful, quite like Spring, but for some days previously it had been dull and cold, threatening snow. – I hear we have had a very good specimen of what an Edinburgh winter is generally, – and we all agree that it is nothing like what we expected, or felt in England last year – twice the frost set in, and people began to look forward to a grand curling and skating match, which was to have taken place near Stirling under the patronage of the Duke of Atholl – but both times were failures, a sudden thaw coming on, rendered it quite impossible and occasioned much disappointment –.

Yesterday we took advantage of the beautiful bright day to visit Holyrood. I dare say you thought us capable of going away without! and in fact we were all ashamed at having put it off so long. – How very curious and interesting the apartments of Queen Mary are with the old tapestry and furniture just as she left it – but her bed is dreadfully short, and must have been very uncomfortable to lie on – We also saw the suite of rooms occupied by the French Court, now looking bare and desolate; and the Duke of Breadalbane’s apartments, which were undergoing repairs. – but they refused to shew us the Queen’s, though they were open to the public a few weeks ago. – & it seems still undecided whether that part of the Palace is to be kept private or not. –

Afterwards (admire our courage) we walked all along the path under Salisbury Crag, and had a tolerably clear view towards the sea, but the Pentland hills and much of the town was very indistinct – I believe this time of the year it is never perfectly clear, unless on a windy day. Returning the same way we walked all along the Commongate &c, to Waterloo Place, where we found a carriage, that brought us home – afterwards we went to the Opera. –

Have you seen a newly published book “The Campaign of Sebastopol” by Lieut. Col Hamley? It was lent to us by Mr Mair, and is rather interesting. – the first part is [illegible deletion] is dry, descriptive chiefly of the movements of the army, but further on, the account of the storm and the Winter in the Crimea is entertaining, but I do not think he has said anything new, that was not in the papers at the time – This narrative is reprinted from Blackwood’s Magazine, and the Author is in Edinburgh at the present time. – We have already met at different parties several affairs returned from Sebastopol but some are only here on a Short leave of absence –

We suppose the little cat, that greeted you so amicably on your arrival at Lacock was Cinderella the tortoiseshell one – as it appeared, when we left [illegible deletion], to possess an tame and affectionate disposition,

Good bye dear Papa,

I am afraid you must find it very dull at Lacock – all alone – and the house too, must be cold as well as dreary –

Yr affecte & dutiful daughter Ela

H F Talbot Esqre
Lacock Abbey

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