A typical letter .
An original MS
Transcriber: Buckingham, Amanda Belle
Transcription date: September 2, 2014
Scrutiny: 02/09/2014 - Benny, Ruth;
Signed off: no
54 Bedford Gardens
June 26. 1912
Mrs Willmott2 has sent me your letter about Rosa Stellata3 and has asked me to write to you with reference to the live flowers which you so kindly offer to send for reproduction in "The Genus Rosa"4 As they are very precious I am anxious that every precaution should be taken in order [] that they may reach me in the best possible condition so that my drawing may do justice to the plant. I return tomorrow to Riverside, Lechlade, Glo[ucester]s[hire], where I am now painting, but unfortunately I cannot be quite certain of my movements during the next few days.
I shall have to come to London again for the funeral of my old friend Sir L Alma-Tadema5 & I have not yet heard which [] day it will be - I propose therefore to send you a telegram as soon as I am sure that I can draw the rose directly it reaches me - you will forgive me if I add some suggestions as to packing &c - I should like a spray that shows growth & foliage as well as the actual flower; it should be cut early in the morning & allowed to stand in plenty of water for some hours before packing & I find that specimens keep []6 better if put in a tin box with a little damp moss round the end of the stem, & of course they are better cut rather too soon than a day too late. It will be better to do as you propose, to send one blossom first & the other later. I am afraid you will think me very fussy, but my work has often been unsatisfactory because the flowers have not been at their best when they reached me.
I am, dear Madam, | Yours faithfully | Alfred Parsons7 [signature]
1. Wallace, Annie (née Mitten) (1846-1914); the wife of Alfred Russel Wallace.
2. Willmott, Ellen Ann (1858-1934); botanist and author
3. Rosa Stellata - species of rose
4. The Genus Rosa, authored by Ellen Willmott and illustrated by Alfred Parsons
5. Alma-Tadema, Lawrence (1836-1912); painter
6. Illegible word in parentheses written at top of page in unknown hand.
7. Parsons, Alfred William (1847-1920); painter
REFERENCES IN ENDNOTES:
BBC: Your Paintings (2014). Alfred William Parsons. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/alfred-william-parsons> [accessed 4 July 2014]
Beccaloni, George (2009). Wallace's Genealogy. <http://wallacefund.info/wallaces-genealogy> [accessed 4 July 2014]
Lawrence Alma-Tadema (2014). Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema Biography. <http://www.alma-tadema.org/biography.html> [accessed 4 July 2014]
Oxonian Gardener (2012). Ellen Willmott: Gardener and Plantswoman. <http://oxoniangardener.co.uk/ellen-ann-willmott-8446/> [accessed 4 July 2014]
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