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Letters from England, 1846-1849

Letters from England, 1846-1849 by Elizabeth Davis Bancroft
By: (1803-1886)

Elizabeth Bancroft went to England with her husband, historian George Bancroft, for three of the most dynamicy years in European hstory. As Ambassador to England from the United States, George moved in the highest circles. In his wife’s letters to their sons, her uncle, her brother, and Mrs. Polk (the President’s wife), we see glimpses not only of early Victorian English life, but also of Queen Victoria herself! Mrs. Bancroft speaks of dinners with Benjamin Disraeli, visits to Wordsworth, weekends in the country with Louis Napolean and Sir Robert Peel with such matter of fact aplomb that one cannot help being impressed.

First Page:

LETTERS FROM ENGLAND 1846 1849

LETTER: TO W.D.B. AND A.B. LIVERPOOL, October 26, 1846

My dear sons: Thank God with me that we are once more on TERRA FIRMA. We arrived yesterday morning at ten o'clock, after a very rough voyage and after riding all night in the Channel in a tremendous gale, so bad that no pilot could reach us to bring us in on Saturday evening. A record of a sea voyage will be only interesting to you who love me, but I must give it to you that you may know what to expect if you ever undertake it; but first, I must sum it all up by saying that of all horrors, of all physical miseries, tortures, and distresses, a sea voyage is the greatest . . . The Liverpool paper this morning, after announcing our arrival says: "The GREAT WESTERn, notwithstanding she encountered throughout a series of most severe gales, accomplished the passage in sixteen days and twelve hours."

To begin at the moment I left New York: I was so absorbed by the pain of parting from you that I was in a state of complete apathy with regard to all about me. I did not sentimentalize about "the receding shores of my country;" I hardly looked at them, indeed... Continue reading book >>


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