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Letter in an unexpected place. 23 February, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Art, Cuthbert Collingwood, General, Letters, Royal Navy.
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Then again, maybe it’s not that unexpected.

The title of this picture is “Gravestone in Trafalgar Cemetery” (Gibraltar). I can’t really tell if this is an actual headstone, marking a grave, or a commemorative plaque –  either way, it’s very touching.

Photographer: Giorgio Monteforti
(Picture released into public domain by the artist. Grazie per la vostra generosità!)

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1. Jen - 24 February, 2010

(This has nothing to do with the letter, it just has nothing to do with Patrick O’Brian either.)

If any of it is of any use to you, I have a few pictures from Newcastle and Morpeth (very little from Morpeth, because it was dark)
http://pics.livejournal.com/ylla/gallery/00039dzh?page=1
and around Hethpool
http://pics.livejournal.com/ylla/gallery/00036k7b?page=1
(and the story of that day, although there’s not really any Collingwood in it – http://ylla.livejournal.com/305634.html

Molly Joyful - 25 February, 2010

Thanks a lot for the links! The pictures are fantastic. / I’ll have to go through everything this evening. :-)

(Re: the edit – I only fixed the html in your comment, the link to your LJ didn’t work.)

Jen - 26 February, 2010

I would have edited myself if I could – I was being grammatically correct and closing my brackets, but the link wasn’t clever enough to realise that :)

Molly Joyful - 26 February, 2010

Yes, I know. WordPress has improved its tools since I started my first blog, but in the comments, there’s still a lot of room for improvement. Allowing threads has been a major step forward, though. It wasn’t suitable for discussions before. :)

2. ShipRat - 25 February, 2010

“Victor of Trafalgar, diplomat, wit and humanitarian.” It’s nice that they worked in his wit.
As others have done over the past century or 2, I unsuspectingly dipped into Collingwood’s letters and ended up reading them cover to cover. (2 collections so far, waiting for a 3rd on loan) Because he’s not only incisive, perceptive and a pellucid stylist – he can also be very funny.
Of course the other side is his longing for home and family in later life, which is disturbing when – as it were – you know the ending. In that sense, not an easy read at all.
“My heart aches at the little hope there is of my returning soon to the blessings of my family. I assure you I think of it sometimes ’till my soul sickens with sorrow.”

Jen - 26 February, 2010

I know – I love that sign. And I know now that you can see that house from the train as you come into Newcastle from the north, so that will be like a little secret for me from now on :)
I like the great long story on the St Nicholas’s memorial too.

I’m about halfway through the first volume of the G. Newnham-Collingwood ones, but going quite slowly – possibly because I got distracted by Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (two books at once with mutant footnotes), or just because I do everything slowly at the moment. Not sure where the second volume has got to – I’ll have to change that…

3. ShipRat - 25 February, 2010

Sorry, I should have mentioned that I was referring to the plaque outside his birthplace, which is clearly readable in your excellent photos, Jen. And I also neglected to thank you for posting them! Consider it done :-)

Jen - 25 February, 2010

You’re welcome – I’m glad you enjoyed them.
I would have liked to have more from Morpeth, but it was mid December, and dark before 4, and snowing. I’ll just have to go back…


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