Corresponding women project: “A Society of their own”

from the correspondence of anna laura georgina galloni d’istria

The Irish-born novelist Anna Laura Georgina Galloni d’Istria (1809–1880) writes here to her dear friend Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Galloni d’Istria’s fascinating correspondence is not widely available — though Electronic Enlightenment is helping to change that. Here another letter by “corresponding women” provides a fine example of interests and observational skills reaching well beyond the family hearth!


I would have answered your kind letter immediately, dearest Mrs. Shelley, had we not been in a state of desperate agitation, which precluded the possibility of doing any earthly thing! Today we breathe freely for the first time, & I immediately take up my pen & come to you. On the 29th of May, the Austrians made a sortie out of Mantova in order to fall upon the Tuscans, attack the Piedmontese in the rear & liberate Peschiera besieged by part of the Italian army. The enemy fell upon the Tuscan camp & their numbers being more than double beat our unfortunate troops completely & forced them to retire in some disorder & with heavy loss! nor could it be otherwise when 5000 men were opposed to 12000! . . . . .

— Anna Laura Georgina Galloni d’Istria to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,
Tuesday, 6 June 1848;
EE letter ID: galllaEE0010001a1c

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