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H. Hallam Hipwell



HA 6







Subject Matter:


Peninsular War



One sometimes wonders whether our descendants will have as much rich historical ore to work over as has fallen to the Oldbucks and Dry-as-Dusts of the last hundred years. Science combined with mechanism has, we all know, enabled many records to be packed in very limited room . It has yet to be seen how diminished photostatic reproductions, and, for the matter of that, everyday typewritten letters, will stand the stress of time; as have ordinary commercial communications written on stout rag paper, with a substantial quill pen dipped in iron-gall ink, that preceded typewriters and photography.


These reflections occurred as I turned yet once more the pages of Edmund Power's rough-draft letter book and stopped, almost by chance, to scan a draft dated 30 December 1809, that is some six months after he had come back to Lisbon, left by him and a number of other folk in some haste in the month of November 1807. For it was then that Junot swept southward into Portugal at Napoleon's bidding, and this letter, written nearly two years later, is addressed to Lord Viscount Strangford and reads as follows:


Lisbon, 30 December 1809 ...


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