Letter

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 HOV/2/15
  • Dates of Creation
      31 Jan 1913
  • Physical Description
      2 sheets loose sheets, slightly care-worn and stained

Scope and Content

An excursion to Merseburg is described, and Hovell discourses on the turbulent history of the area between Merseburg and Leipzig, which was formerly frontier country between Prussia and Austria and was a strategic battle area in the Napoleonic Wars. Hovell writes, 'I don't think there is an area in the world that has seen so much war as the fifteen miles round Leipzig' (a small sketch of the area is included with battle sites and dates indicated).

He describes Merseburg, including the cathedral and castle, and he claims he has proved that medieval knights were smaller than people of the 20th century by measuring the preserved hand of an entombed knight against his own.

The letter describes his impressions of Frederick Augustus, King of Saxony when he paid a visit to Leipzig University. His opinions are overall quite negative. Finally Hovell describes an evening with Professor Lamprecht, professing him to be a great thinker.

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

Note: Parts of the text, beginning and end, are crossed out. This was most probably done at a later date by Mark Hovell's widow, due to their general and more personal nature.

Related Material

See also: Postcard, Merseburg, HOV/2/17.