Letter

Scope and Content

Discusses the music scene in Leipzig (considered to be the best in the country) and his observing an orchestra conducted by Arthur Nikisch (1855 – 1922) with Willy Burmester (1869 – 1933) performing. Also witnesses a game of football, commenting 'They have as much to learn in football as we in music'.

Discusses Continental observances of Sunday, saying they appear more social in Germany, but this may be result of lack of a half day on Saturday. He also points out that in his opinion only about one third of the English population genuinely observe Sunday as a day of rest, the other two thirds just attend church.

He visits the site of the Battle of Leipzig , where a monumental memorial is under construction in commemoration to the fallen, discussing the history of the battle in some detail.

Describes a visit to the Thomas Kirche, to observe the choir trained at the Thomas Schule, where Johannes Sebastian Bach was singing leader until his death in 1750.

He makes some general observations of German life, making a particular note of the police who he states are not as 'uppish' as the English have presupposed and the lack of beggars on the streets. He describes the local newspapers as being very anti- English and mentioning conflicts in Syria and Egypt. He also detects in the newspapers a competitive element in technological and armament production, specifically a rather dismissive report of a new range finder being used by the British Navy. Despite this, Hovell describes positively the Germans he has encountered and considers the German people believe England wants peace, particularly in light of Asquith's Lord Mayor's banquet speech. He makes positive observations about their standard of education.

Dated at: Ferdinand Rhode Strasse 7, Leipzig, Germany.

Related Material

See also: Postcard Leipzig, Völkerschlachtdenkmal, HOV/2/17