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Document number: 9498
Date: Mon 22 Feb 1869
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: TALBOT Rosamond Constance
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 1st September 2003


Monday 22 February 1869

My dear Papa,

Mama desires me to thank you for your letter, inclosing the letter of Credit, which she received last evening – she was also very glad to have Goodwin’s memorandum, but Nelson’s bill you have not yet sent. We are curious to see it, but it must be a mistake as we were very careful to pay all those small bills before leaving Edinburgh, and of course he will have to wait until we get home and can search for the receipts. Were you not very much surprised to hear of Charles’s sudden resolution to go home again? I am sorry that his interest in all he sees here could last no longer, and disappointed that we shall not have the satisfaction of seeing again in his company all the fine things at Florence & at Pisa, but he certainly does not seem happy, so I daresay he does wisely to go back to England. We shall probably leave for Florence on the 7th or 8th if the weather be favourable We have been unlucky in having hitherto had an unusually cold winter and foggy spring & now, although it is very mild and pleasant the sun shows itself but rarely – The 5th which, you ask about, was very fine early, & grew foggy in the afternoon, and all the next day was very thick. Saturday the 13th and the following three days were magnificent, perfectly cloudless and as warm as May, and we made excursions to the islands in open gondolas. The first sunny day this week we mean to go to Torcello, which you know Ela and I have always so much wished to visit. The Arbuthnotts had also proposed that we should go with them to see Treviso; but Lady A. has been ill with a bad cold, so I don’t know whether we shall be able to accomplish that. On the whole I think that Mama has decidedly benefitted by her long sojourn at Venice, for she has got through the winter without a single cold and never coughs at all now. She says she does not feel very strong, and that she is easily upset by any exertion and excitement, but that, I am afraid, will always be the case. We were much interested by Charlie’s letter, and thank you very much for taking the trouble of copying it all out for us. So if you send the sequel it will be duly appreciated also. He seems to have had a most rapid and prosperous journey, and evidently takes great interest in all he sees.

Ela is going to try at Florence to get lessons in flower painting from an artist of whom she heard through our friends the Miss Steuarts at San Remo. It will be just the right time for flowers, and I am sure it will do her much good, as she has already made a good deal of progress by herself. Charles told you, I think, of our two balls. The Bal Costume at the Prince Giovanelli, especially was magnificent, and I was very glad to have seen it, though the getting up of fancy dresses to appear in was rather troublesome, especially for Charles.

I hope you will be able to make out my letter, but all the time I am writing two boats full of singers and a band are performing under the windows, by the command of a Prussian Prince, who inhabits the Entre-sol, which is rather disturbing to one’s ideas. Ela encloses some commission for Goodwin which she begs you to give him. I suppose you will be thinking of starting before very long. I am glad you have not been so damp as last year, but from all the accounts of floods, a great deal of rain must have fallen in some parts of England. We have been interested in watching the reports of the meeting of the new reformed Parliament, which until now seems to have behaved very well, and the Queen’s speech had more in it than usual. The Queen herself seems to have taken everybody in by first expressing her intention of opening Parliament in person and then changing her mind. I wonder whether she will ever do so?

I cannot send you any account of flowers, as we see none here, except in the green house of the King’s garden, into which one is not permitted to enter. Is not that tantalizing, when there is no one in the Palace to enjoy them?

Everybody sends their love, & believe me,

dear Papa, your affectionate daughter


Charles thanks you for the trouble you have taken about his law papers, but says he owed no arrears of payment for last year, or probably the man himself will have informed you before this. It is all right, and of course they will send no more.

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