Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Queen Victoria's Condolences to Mary Todd Lincoln

Thanks to Irish Elk, I came across this letter at a Library of Congress exhibition about the relationship between the UK and the US. I had never even heard of this letter, either in bios of Victoria or of Mrs. Lincoln. It took me a while to puzzle out the queen's handwriting, as it is not only agitated but includes such anachronisms as "fs" for "ss". (And I swear her M's look like G's.)

So, for your delectation, both the letter and my "transcript".

front page of Vicky's letter

April 29, 1865.

Dear Madam,

Though a stranger

to you I cannot
continue silent,
when so horrible
a Calamity
has fallen upon
you and your family.
I must sincerely

2nd and  3rd page of Vicky's letter

express my shock and
heartfelt sympathy
with your [friend?]
Mr Thackeray in
condolences of your
present dreadful

No one can better

appreciate than
I can, who was my
self utterly broken-
by the loss

of my own beloved
Husband, who
was the Light of my
Life, my Stay and
my _All_ -- what
your suffering
must be; and
I earnestly pray
that you may
be supported by
Heaven to whom
Alone the lonely

front and back page of Vicky's letter

stricken can
look for comfort,
in this hour
of heavy affliction.

With the renewed

Expression of
true sympathy,

I remain,
dear Madam,
Your Sincere

Victoria R.

I'm a bit doubtful about that last initial, btw. It doesn't quite look like an R or an I, much less any other of her initials. So I'm guessing it's a stylized R.