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Percy Shelley’s journal-letter to T. L. Peacock in 1816 describes his impressions of the Alpine landscape:

Pinnacles of snow, intolerably bright, part of the chain connected with Mont Blanc shone thro the clouds at intervals on high. I never knew I never imagined what mountains were before. The immensity of these aerial summits excited, when they suddenly burst upon the sight, a sentiment of extatic wonder, not unallied to madness- And remember this was all one scene. It all pressed home to our regard & to our imagination.

Mont Blanc and the Glacier des Bossons from above Chamonix; Evening 1836 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

[Text credit: PBS Letters 22 July 1816. Image: J. M. W. Turner, “Mont Blanc and the Glacier des Bossons from above Chamonix; Evening 1836″, Tate Britain]. 

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