S&SWM PR papers L1564


Grand Hotel | London | May: 10th 1896

Dear General

Perhaps you will be very much amused at my sending you the enclosed but I know you have all sorts of pottery in your Museum & as the Guanches appear to be more or less of a puzzle to all who have studied them, felt that possibly the Atalaya pottery might interest you, as it is said to be the same as that made by the Guanches, without a wheel, & with only a round stone. The atalayans live in a troglodyte village (the name Atalaya means watch tower) & the inhabitants they say keep aloof from the surrounding peasantry, they sometimes playfully throw a stone or two at an enquiring tourist but this is hearsay. My sister and I who went off together to see the village & get you the pottery, found the villagers very polite & much amused at our Spanish. We noticed that they were bigger & better looking than the peasantry,had beautifully even teeth, fine eyes & good features & we thought, better manners, afterwards we heard that they were supposed to be a different race, so the characteristic must be rather marked, In one book Professor Boyd Dawkins lent us about Guanches there appear to have been no true Guanches at the Grand Canary, so if you prefer, we can call the original inhabitants Canarios. I also send  you a hat from La Palma the only island where it is now worn. I did not go to the island myself but got it for you from the Grand Canary - however, it is genuine. I daresay these things will be of no use really to you, but at anyrate they will show you that I have not forgotten that very delightful day I spent at Rushmore, when you were so very kind to me, explaining &ct. since then we had Professor Dawkins staying with us, & together we sang your praises, what a charming man he is & such a delightful companion.

We are going to Newstead tomorrow & only returned from Tenerife on Friday, you never see or hear of an English newspaper in the Canaries, so we have had a great deal to hear & learn about  public affairs since our arrival in England. I hope you will not think it very intrusive of me, but I feel as if I knew you so much better than I really do, that you will forgive me for offering my very sincere sympathy to you for the sudden sorry you had, so soon after I saw you. I should have liked to have written then but did not. I have had so much sorrow in my own life, in losing those dear to me & mine, that I can understand grief perhaps better than many, & I felt I could hardly write to you without telling you how sorry I was

Believe me
yours sincerely
Geraldine K. Webb

Transcribed for Rethinking Pitt-Rivers project by AP June 2011

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