4 Athole Crescent <1>
February the 25th
My dear Papa
Thank you very much for the little book that you have sent me. Its size is so diminutive that I suppose you think I didn’t see it first thing this morning sitting among the newspapers on the dining room table. I think it will be very amusing indeed. I have cut it already and read a little of it, and it promises to be very funny. The paper is charming, such a pretty shade of cream colour. I received another present this morning what do you think it was? Mamie <2> gave me her beautiful little topaze necklace, which perhaps you remember, as she has lent it me to wear several times; she gave me also a pair of earings that go with it, so you see one of these days I must have holes made in my ears in order to wear them. I mean to put it on for the ball tonight, which we expect to be a very good one, as both the Assembly room and Music Hall will be open, the former having been freshly decorated, and painted in white and gold. Mamie has promised to come with us, which is very nice. I am only sorry that Rosamond <3> is not yet quite well enough to attempt it, as she has not quite got over the effects of the cold she caught the other day.
Mamie wants me to tell you how very indignant we are at the House of Commons, or at least at that combination of parties who have turned out Ld Palmerston. <4> Isn’t it dreadful that we should be exposed to that sort of thing all of a sudden, when everything was going on so well? I hope LdDerby <5> will not stay two months in office (the time allowed him by the Times) but that he will be turned out ingnominously and immediately! –
We will not fail to look out for the eclipse, if visible from here; yesterday there was a splendid moonlight – I must end in a hurry as I think Mama has a message
Your affec. daughter
H. F. Talbot Esqr
2. Amélina Petit De Billier, ‘Mamie’, ‘Amandier’ (1798–1876), governess and later close friend of the Talbot family
3. Rosamond Constance ‘Monie’ Talbot (1837–1906), artist & WHFT’s 2nd daughter
4. Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, (1784 – 1865) resigned the post of Prime Minister in February of 1858, upon his defeat over the Conspiracy to Murder Bill by the Radicals.
5. Edward George Geoffrey Smith Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby (1799 - 1869)