Tuesday, September 29, 2009

1871 H. P. Churchill

Highly detailed letter home from an American, H. P. Churchill, describing his travels in northern Italy. Content includes:
Naples -- Half-clad beggars; "the people are the most squalid wretched objects we saw anywhere..."; Capri; Blue Grotto -- illuminated with "peculiar" light; buys fruit from "orange girls"; charges annoying locals with umbrella; nighttime journey up Mount Vesuvius volcano, 5pp., burns soles of shoes - "All the time we were in Naples, Vesuvius was in action, its summit by day being wreathed in smoke & by night lurid with flame."; "...the scene from where we stood was unspeakably grand & terrific. There 1000 feet above a vast volume of flame was rushing forth from the summit; "cascade of fire" 50 ft hills of lava; explores Pompeii, Pisa tower - describes; charmed with Genoa; Seville; sees the, "Last Supper", Milan.
It ends in Heidelberg, Germany, where letter was written, after a trip across Lake Como.

This great letter is for sale on Ebay
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