Friday, June 03, 2005

From Alison Chapman, Browning Circle in Florence scholar, Glasgow, Scotland:

Dear Julia,

I've been meaning to email you in thanks for the 'Florence in Sepia' CD, for which I'm very grateful. What a fabulous resource!

Your appeal about the Cemetery to the Victoria list deeply distressed me. The Cemetery must not be allowed to close. It is a wonderful momument to the vibrant culture of foreigners in Italy, and the artistic, literary and political importance of the 'golden ring' connecting Italy with Britain and other nations. For several years I've been researching the expatriate women poets known to the Brownings in Florence, and their important contributionboth to Risorgimento politics and the British poetical tradition. Two of the most interesting and talented women poets of the Brownings' circle, Theodosia Garrow Trollope and Isa Blagden, rest in the 'English Cemetery', and it would be a disgrace if the achievements they represent were forgotten. The Cemetery is a tribute to many talented men and women who imagined a future for Italy, and the Cemetery itself deserves to be respected and treasured, and given a secure future of its own.

I'm hoping, at Kitty Ledbetter's suggestion, that a presentation and appeal can be made at the Barrett Browning conference next Easter. In the meantime, please let me know if there is anything else I can do to support this worthy campaign.

With all good wishes

Dr Alison Chapman
Senior Lecturer
Department of English Literature
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ

From Michael Meredith, Browning Scholar, Librarian, Eton College, which co-owns the Brownings' Casa Guidi in Florence with Landmark Trust

Dear Julia,

I was appalled to hear of the impending closure of the English Cemetery, and welcome your initiative in taking action to keep it open. It is such an important cultural landmark in Florence that you deserve strong support.

I should be very happy to be on your Honour Committee, and, once you have decided what action to take, I should like to help in any way I can.

With all best wishes, Yours, As ever, Michael


Dear Ms Holloway,

I would like to thank you for your e-mail. I am pleased to transfer it to my colleagues in charge of World Heritage in Europe.

Thank you for your support to the World Heritage Convention.

Yours sincerely,

Nana Thiam

From America

Dear Sister--You're doing a great job in the effort to save the Cemetery. Lovers of English literature would find its loss beyond understanding. Thank you--S. Clemente

From America, again:

Dear Julia,

I wanted to express my support and gratitude for the work you and others are doing for the English Cemetery, which is so valuable on many levels. The site is not like any other, and contains a wealth of cultural and historical information that we cannot not lose.

Because I live as a historic site caretaker (in Connecticut), I understand how hard it is to address many different preservation/interpretation issues at once. Might I suggest that if the friends group finds funds to purchase basic landscaping equipment and supplies, one way to save money is to design a one- or two-week spring landscaping project for volunteers. Volunteer projects of this sort happen all over the world, and there are people out there who would love to spend a week working in the cemetery. Such a preservation project could include lectures and tours and participants might even be charged a nominal fee. There are many possibilities in this arena.

If you would like any assistance in arranging such a volunteer project, please let me know. I would love to help the English Cemetery, in whatever form I can. My Master's paper was on James Jackson Jarves, whose first wife lies in the English Cemetery (he himself lies in Rome). Florence's glorious 19th century history must not die!


Laura A. Macaluso