Sunday September 20, 2020

A letter of note to a woman of significance

24th March, 2019
A portrait of Lord Edward FitzGerald

Who has access to private missives sent over the internet? It’s a 21st-century head-banger, but ’twas ever so. A letter sent by Lord Edward FitzGerald to his sister Lucy in 1796 caused consternation in the FitzGerald household. It reads in part: “I wrote to Mother last night telling her the Fleet had left the Coast.”

With 15,000 soldiers on board, the French fleet had set sail from Brest in November of...

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