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This content is taken from the Lancaster University & Royal Institution's online course, Humphry Davy: Laughing Gas, Literature, and the Lamp . Join the course to learn more.

Transcribe a Davy Letter

Here is a private manuscript letter written by Davy to his wife, Jane Davy, tentatively dated 26th March 1816. This letter is held in the archives of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. In it, Davy describes receiving a visit and a letter from coal mine owners.

We would like you to try to read the letter, and then try to transcribe Davy’s handwriting. You can share your transcriptions if you like, and discuss your experiences of both parts of the activity below. Some things you might like to discuss are:

  • How do you feel about reading a private Davy letter?
  • Did you find the transcription exercise difficult?
  • What do you think of this letter in the light of the safety lamp controversy?

Once you’ve had a go at transcribing the letter yourself (and don’t worry if you don’t get very far with this!) you can look at the transcription we have made.

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This article is from the free online course:

Humphry Davy: Laughing Gas, Literature, and the Lamp

Lancaster University