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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Florence Bell

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Gertrude Bell
Lady Florence Bell
Creation Date
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1 letter, paper

Saturday Hotel Grande Bretagne Florence [Firenze]. Dearest Mother. We arrived here safely yesterday evening after a charming day at Siena and were welcomed by the Talbots and Lord Brownlow with whom we spent a very delightful evening. This morning I went up early to the Piazza d'Azeglio to ask about the maid - alas! they had found no one though they had made many inquiries. They sent me to Cook - it would be rather funny to get a maid through Cook! but they had heard of no one. However I left my address at various places and something may turn up still. I then came back to the inn and wandered out with Caroline and the Talbots to see a few pictures, amongst others the Botticelli which was discovered the other day in the palace and which I had not seen. It's very lovely and it's charm was heightened by the fact that we were only admitted by force of bribes and were then taken up back stairs on tip toe and with baited breath. We expected the Prince of Naples [Napoli] to jump out upon us every minute and say Off with their heads! However, I'm glad to say he didn't. The Talbots and Lord B. have just gone, to our great sorrow and we, to console ourselves, are going to spend the afternoon at Fiesole. It is at last really warm, the roses are out and the streets full of flowers.
I got a batch of letters from you and Papa this morning - we leave here Tuesday, but I can't give you any definite address because I don't quite know what way we intend to come. I expect we shall be in London on Wednesday week - how very nice that you are coming up. I feel as if I must see you some way or other after all this long time.

Oh it's so heavenly here! You needn't laugh at me for sight seeing - that's what I'm here for and I don't really do too much. Ever your affectionate daughter Gertrude

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