link to Talbot Project home page link to De Montfort University home page link to Glasgow University home page
Project Director: Professor Larry J Schaaf

Back to the letter search >

Document number: 5399
Date: 23 Sep 1845
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: WAKEFIELD Edward Jerningham
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA45-132
Last updated: 1st September 2003

70, Jermyn Street, London,

23rd September, 1845.


I have been induced to take the liberty of addressing you, by seeing at the house of a friend some of your Photogenic drawings on paper. I need hardly say that I have become very anxious to know more of this singular and beautiful discovery. I have been residing for four or five years in the colony of New Zealand, and purpose returning there probably during the ensuing year. In that country the atmosphere is so clear, and the quantity of bright, sunshiny days so great through the year, that I should conceive your discovery to be especially applicable.

I do not know whether you preserve the secret of the process, or whether you have made it known to the world. I could learn nothing relating to this in the two sets of drawings which I saw, nor could my friend tell me more.

My object is of course to acquire the necessary process and means to be used so well as to enable me to use it on my return to New Zealand or in any future travels that I may make. Having already travelled a good deal, I can readily appreciate the great value of the quickness, as well as the accuracy of the proceeding. I have often imagined such a power, as a kind of hopeless dream, when travelling thro’ beautiful scenery which I had no time, even if I had had the power, to represent even roughly with my own pencil.

Will you excuse my troubling you at so great length, and kindly inform me whether you have published any description of the process to be gone through, or, if not, describe it by letter?

I remain, Sir,

your very obedient servant,

E. Jerningham Wakefield.

H. Fox Talbot Esq. F.R.S.

&c &c &c