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Crosswritten Love Letters

Transcribing these letters was a complex palaeographical challenge, each word won with endeavour. John D'Alton spent significant periods away from the family home as he travelled on his circuit as an assize lawyer. His letters to his wife are the most impenetrable as he often scribbled on his knee while being jostled around the inside of a horse-drawn carriage. His wife Catherine writes in a much more accessible hand, keeping her husband in touch with family life and local gossip during his frequent absences. Perhaps the most satisfying outcome of this transcription came when two direct descendants from both sides, who had made previous failed attempts to transcribe the letters, were delighted to discover the transcribed text in the Manuscripts & Archives Department's online catalogue.

Shelfmark: TCD MS 2327/64

Aisling Lockhart

Aisling Lockhart is a Reading Room Services Executive in the Department of Manuscripts & Archives, and is responsible for the day-to-day operations in the reading room. Her particular area of interest is 19th-century social history and the online publication of transcriptions of personal correspondence of that period.