This letter from Fr Julian Tenison Woods to “My dear Sir”, William Archer, is rather a long one with a considerable number of explanatory endnotes. However, it is far from a tedious read!

Written from Penola towards the end of 1863, it is a good example of Fr Julian’s command of the English language, his fluent penmanship and his sense of humour. The letter from William Archer, to which he is replying, must have been an interesting one to have caused such a reaction! The endnotes, as compiled by Sr Anne Player, give valuable background to the people with whom Fr Julian associated in 1863 – and the scientific investigations that engaged his interest. He was, at this time, questioning the value of his membership of scientific associations as he was having trouble getting his writings published. However, the local papers seemed quite willing to publish his views. Riding around his far flung parish gave him ample opportunity to think about framing his next letter or article on whatever happened to be his current topic of interest.

Reading this letter, it is easy to imagine William Archer laughing aloud at some of Fr Julian’s remarks, particularly the references to having him prayed for publicly and being his horse! How much enjoyment can be had from a good friendship!

View Letter 1 written from Penola on 23 November 1863:

Archer Letter 1 (PDF)