Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, 18 Stanger Street, Keswick to Violet Isabel Wallace [address not recorded] on 16 July 1892.
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A transcription typewritten in English.
A carbon copy
Pages with text: 2
Transcriber: Linden, Tess
Transcription date: August 19, 2013
Scrutiny: 19/08/2013 - Catchpole, Caroline;
Signed off: no
ARW to VIW. 18, Stranger Street, Keswick. Sunday, July 16th. 1892.
My dear Violet,1
Mrs Iselin & Henry came Tuesday evening at 8, & I & He started the next morning at 9-40, rached reached Burton-on-Trent about 3-30 where we had some Bovril, & at 4 started for Ashbourne. Our porter told us to change at Tutbury. We did change at Tutbury. I then asked another porter if we were right for Ashbourne -- "All right" he said. Yet we ought to have changed again at Uttoxeter, wh where they said (afterwards) they hollered out "change for Ashbourne"! But at Uttoxeter a lot of workmen with their tools got into our carriage & we did not hear the "hollerin out" & so got taken on to another Station, "Leigh", which I knew was not on our line. So, I enquired & shouted just in time to get out. It was a wretched little station, & it rained, & we had to stay there 1 1/2 hours, then back to Uttoxeter, & waited there 3/4 hour. Then to Ashbourne at 1/2 past eight instead of 8. However we got some mutton chops for supper, & then felt better & went to bed pretty tired. Morning gloomy! Breakfast at ten -- Fowl, ham, tongue, chicken pie, strawberry jam & home made marmalade of very superior quality, so you may imagin [sic] we did not breakfast badly. About half past eleven it looked a little clearer so we had a waggonette to Dove Dale 4 miles, to call for us at 8 if fine, earlier if wet. In half a mile of lovely walk we entered the celebrated dale. At first narrow & steep rocky bare sides, but after a while it becomes woody & rocky with great buttresses and pillars and crags and the most beautiful woods and ivy so as far to surpass even the best parts of Miller's Dale. The whole character is different, and for about two miles is probably the most picturesque combination of rock, wood, & water, to be found anywhere. In one place there is a fine arch through a rock which runs out in a thin buttress, another is like a church tower with an opening like a narrow gothic window in it. This Ma sketched. We spent 5 hours, & it luckily kept fine though there was no sunshine to brighten up [] the scene. We reached our trap at six & got back to supper at 7, at the "Green Man and Black's Head" kept by Mrs Fanny Wallis, a very old Inn where Dr Johnson2 & Boswell3 stayed a night more than 100 years ago. Friday morning we started in rain, at 9, & reached here at 3-30 quite fine. Started in search of lodgings & found this place 3 rooms, good, attendance weak, 30- a week. Shall probably stay here 2 weeks, & go a day or two to special points. Yesterday we walked along the whole west side of the lake & round the south end, & back along the east side by a coach. The views are grand. The mountains are more rugged, peaked, and knobbed, and there are more of them to be seen at once rising behind each other in every direction, than I have seen either in Wales or Scotland. Both Ma & I agree that we are not disappointed even if we see nothing finer than what we saw yesterday. Today we are staying at home writing and reading & shall stroll about in the afternoon. There is to be a kind of Churchy Conference here next week & most of the lodgings are taken from next Monday. We shall probably go from here to Ambleside for another two weeks. We saw one dipper in Dove Dale. I am very sorry to hear of the death of the delightful old man H.H.H.4 Tourists are thick here, but they go in vans while we walk.
Your affectionate Pa Alfred R. Wallace.
1. Violet Isabel Wallace (1869-1945), daughter of Alfred Russel Wallace.
2. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), English writer.
3. James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish writer and biographer of Samuel Johnson.
4. Rev. Henry Hugh Higgins (1814-1893), a Wallace acquaintance from Bedfordshire.
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