My dear Talbot –
I wish you, who possess loco-motive powers<2> would a little oftener turn them in this direction – for I feel the not seeing any of you to be very dreary. Do tell me about Lady Elisabeth & Lady Valletort <3> as well as about yourself, wife and babes –<4> for I long to hear something.
I have not yet read your book nor can conceive what has become of it – I mean of my copy of it. See it I certainly did, when on the wing to Ireland, and
suppose take for granted it must have been at Longman’s, where I suppose it is now lying – uncut, unread, but not therefore “unhonoured”, for I could answer for its being good, and shall, I hope, make it answer for itself ere long.<5>
Kind regards to all yours
from another Yours most truly [illegible deletion]
Henry F. Talbot Esqre
1. Sloperton Cottage, Wiltshire, 1 mi E of Lacock, Moore's home.
2. The word, from the Latin locomotivus, long pre-dated mechanized travel. While Moore was well aware of WHFT's keen interest in the newly emerging railways, here he was suggesting that WHFT use his ability to move by his own power to come visit at Sloperton. In an 11 June 1838 letter to WHFT's mother, Lady Elisabeth Feilding, Moore said "Tell Talbot if he will undertake a rail-road journey over England (at least wherever there are rail-roads, for I am not unreasonable) and write me such clever letters at every stopping-place, I'll insure him a good round sum for the copy right of his Epistles." Fox Talbot Collection, The British Library, LA38-17.
3. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (30 Jan 1811 - 9 Sep 1880), m. WHFT 20 Dec 1832. By this time, they had two daughters: Ela Theresa Talbot (25 Apr 1835 - 25 Apr 1893) and Rosamond Constance Talbot (16 Mar 1837 - 7 May 1906), 'Rose'; 'Monie'; artist, died & buried at San Remo, Italy, with a memorial at Lacock.
4. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother, and Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808–1881); WHFT’s half-sister; she was Lady Valletort until her husband succeeded as 3rd Earl on 26 September 1839.
5. WHFT, Hermes, or Classical and Antiquarian Researches, No. 1 (London: Longman, Orme, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1838). At this time, most books were supplied in simple printed wrappers, designed so that the purchaser could take the book to his binder and have it matched to the rest of his library. The folded printed sheets (signatures) were usually left 'uncut' on the edges in order to allow for trimming in binding. 'Unread but not unhonoured' refers to Sir Walter Scott’s Lay of the Last Minstrel: "Unwept, unhonoured and unsung."