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Document number: 6522
Date: 25 Nov 1851
Recipient: LEVESON-GOWER Granville George
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA51-87
Last updated: 10th August 2010

[draft]

Ld G.

Nov. 25 / 51

I am mch oblgd f your [illegible deletion] lettr of yesty & will have the honor of callg on you after your retn to Town. But in the meanwhile I am afraid that the Exve Comtee will send the pictures out of the country into France or Italy, wch they are preparing to do in 2 or 3 days I need not say say how much that such a step wd be likely to complicate the affair might produce irremediable mischief ^or at any rate fractious legal proceedings & for that reason I wd request your Ldship to desire that no further steps shd be taken in ye matter until your return to Town.

I know not what authority the Royal Comsn have delegated to the Exve Comtee but whatever it be, I have no doubt that they wd promptly attend to any exprssn of your wishes

[expanded version:]

Lord Granville

November 25, 1851

I am much obliged for your [illegible deletion] letter of yesterday <1> & will have the honor of calling on you after your return to Town. But in the meanwhile I am afraid that the Executive Committee <2> will send the pictures out of the country into France or Italy, which they are preparing to do in 2 or 3 days I need not say say how much that such a step would be likely to complicate the affair might produce irremediable mischief or at any rate fractious legal proceedings & for that reason I wd request your Lordship to desire that no further steps should be taken in the matter until your return to Town.

I know not what authority the Royal Commissioners have delegated to the Executive Committee but whatever it be, I have no doubt that they would promptly attend to any expression of your wishes


Notes:

1. Letter not located.

2. The Executive Committee of the Great Exhibition of 1851. The concern was over the eventual publication of Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, 1851: Reports by the Juries. Four volumes, illustrated by original photographic prints from negatives by Hugh Owen and Claude Marie Ferrier. In the copies given to WHFT, a dedicatory sheet was inserted (most likely printed up by him): 'This Work, on the Results of the Great Exhibition of 1851, Illustrated with Photographic Plates, being One of Fifteen Copies Given by the Royal Commissioners to H.F. Talbot, Esq. of Lacock Abbey, as The Inventor of this Branch of the Photographic Art, was by him presented to _____'. This publication caused WHFT considerable consternation at the time, for he felt that the Commissioners had stealthily and unfairly taken the job of printing the plates away from Nicolaas Henneman. For a summary of this complex situation, see Nancy B Keeler, 'Illustrating the "Reports by the Juries" of the Great Exhibition of 1851; Talbot, Henneman, and Their Failed Commission,' History of Photography, v. 6 no. 3, July 1982, pp. 257-272.

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