My dear Henry
I am delighted to hear you are so well amused at Alton Abbey, & shall be very glad to get acquainted with your fair cousins next year, as they are so amiable & accomplished. I suppose I must sent this too to Bangor as you do not say precisely where you are going next. All our visitors have departed one by one & we are resolved into our original elements – Count Zamoyski <1> went Wednesday – I like him very much. It is very snug indeed to have Caroline <2> here this way all to ourselves – she is very well & blooming as a rose – Papa, Mama <3> & I dined at Mr Locke’s Wednesday – we met Mr & Mrs Estcourt <4> who are just returned from Geneva Mr Moore, <5> & Mr & Mrs Scott <6> – it was however somewhat heavy – We have had most charming weather till now, when it
was is pouring with rain – but I am glad of it, as it will hinder D. Miguel’s <7> operations – Papa sends you word with his love, that the Abbey clock is come to a dead stand – the wheels refuse to move, & we are in danger of not knowing when to get up or go to bed, unless you consent to expend the sum of 2 guineas, for which your friend Mr King undertakes to repair it. Caroline t’embrasse et attend impatiemment une réponse à la lettre qu’elle t’a écrite à Markeaton Amandier te fait ses amitiés – elles sont toutes deux occupées à lire ton Don Juan, et attend desirent beaucoup que tu reviennes [illegible] d’autres tragédies – en attendant je te souhaite bien du plaisir. <8>
ta s œur qui t’aime bien <9>
W. Henry Fox Talbot Esqre
1. Count Wladyslaw Zamoyski (1803–1868), Polish patriot.
2. Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808–1881); WHFT’s half-sister. She was shortly to give birth to her first child.
3. Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (1780–1837), Royal Navy; WHFT’s step-father, and Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother.
4. Thomas Henry Sutton Sotheron Bucknall Estcourt (1801–1876), MP; and his wife, Lucy Sarah (d. 1870), daughter of Admiral Frank Sotheran.
5. Thomas Moore (1780–1852), Irish poet.
6. Possibly Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832), novelist and poet and his wife.
7. The uncle of Maria da Gloria, Queen of Portugal, whom under a constitutional settlement she was supposed to marry. Following a battle off Cape St Vincent in 1833 between his fleet and that of his brother – father to Maria – he left Portugal for good. In 1836 Maria married a Coburg.
8. Caroline embraces you and waits impatiently for a reply to the letter that she wrote to you at Markeaton. Amandier sends her regards – both of them are busy reading your Don Juan, and greatly desire that you come back to make other tragedies – meanwhile I wish you much joy.
9. Your very affectionate sister.
10. Readdressed in another hand.