This broadside letter begins: 'My Dearest Mary, / RELIEVED for a moment from the din of arms, with pleasure unutterable, my love, I dedicate that moment to thee; what signifies the fatigues I undergo, and the dangers I daily encounter, -- they seem a pleasure to me, when I reflect, that I do so for the sake of my bonny bonny Mary.' The letter is signed with the initials, 'J.T.', while the sheet was published by Thomas Duncan of the Saltmarket, Glasgow.
This broadside contains a love letter written by a soldier serving overseas in Holland, to his sweetheart back home in Glasgow. The soldier reassures Mary that the war will soon be over, and that they will soon be reunited. There is no way of knowing if, as is claimed, this letter was in fact written by a soldier who was serving abroad. Indeed, in their efforts to maximise their profits, publishers of broadsides were quite ingenious in printing sheets on a wide range of subjects, which would appeal to the general public. So it is quite likely that this letter was instead written by an author who was employed by Thomas Duncan, the publisher of this broadside.
Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.
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Probable period of publication:
1810-1830 shelfmark: APS.3.82.26
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