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Document number: 8136
Date: 28 Jun 1860
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: FOUCAULT Jean Bernard Léon
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA60-28
Last updated: 1st September 2010

28 Juin 1860


Je serai extremement heureux de vous recevoir et de pouvoir causer avec vous sur les chances de l’expedition <1> que vont tenter de si nombreux observateurs.

Seulement les apprets du voyage ont tellement dérangé mes habitudes que je crains vivement de manquer votre visite à moins que vous n’ayez l’obligeance de me designer votre heure à l’avance.

En attendant ce plaisir veuillez agreer Monsieur l’expression de ma considération bien distinguée
L. Foucault


28 June 1860

Dear Sir,

I will be extremely happy to receive you, and to speak with you about the possibilities for the success of the expedition which so many observers shall attempt.

Only the preparations for the journey have so much disturbed my normal routine that I strongly fear that I will miss your visit unless you would be good enough to let me know your time in advance.

While waiting for this pleasure please accept Sir my sincere regards
L. Foucault

Mr Talbot


1. An expedition to see the total eclipse of the Sun that crossed northern Spain on 18 July 1860; this was the first total solar eclipse to be documented by photography. Among the successful photographers were the Englishman Warren De La Rue (1815–1889), pioneer in astronomical photography, and Father Pietro Angelo Secchi (1818–1878), professor of astronomy and director of the observatory at the Roman college in Rome. Foucault himself succeeded in taking three albumen negatives, which have regretably not been preserved. [See Doc. No: 08148; see also Tobin, William, The life and science of Léon Foucault: the man who proved the earth rotates (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 218–221.