Shelley to Leigh Hunt
Here is a facsimile letter which very often misleads. The principal reason is that there is an address-leaf bearing not only postal cancellations but the remains of a red wax letter-close (seal) which appears to have been used and broken when the letter was opened. In our example (only the address-leaf is illustrated) the folds make it impossible for the letter to have been sent throught the post in the usual way. The letter begins: 'My dear friend / I have only a slight instant to tell you that I cannot cash Lord Byron's bills for you under a loss of 50 or 60 pounds discount ...'.
There is no watermark, but the machine-made paper is also a give-away. An original letter of Shelley at this date would certainly be on hand-made paper with distinct 'chain lines' visible when held to the light.
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