Youthfulness in “Letters Written in France, in the Summer of 1790”

Helen Maria Williams begins her letter with a most youthful enthusiasm as she explains that, had she arrived in Paris a moment later, she would have missed “the most sublime spectacle which, perhaps, was ever represented on the theatre of this earth”. This statement is so youthfully dramatic, as she tries to express the overwhelming emotions she was feeling upon viewing the federation, believing that nothing on earth could compare to this scene.

There is something quite youthful in the way she writes, with an excitement that is almost tangible. The way, at first, she does not even attempt to describe the visual aspect of the federation as she does not think she can properly convey its sublimity. She rather focuses on the great amount of people and what they were also feeling, creating a wonderful, almost chaotic scene, of a massive group of incredibly  excited people celebrating together.

“I may tell you of pavilions, of triumphal arches, of altars on which incense was burnt, of two hundred thousand men walking in procession; but how am I to give you an adequate idea of the behaviour of the spectators? How am I to paint the impetuous feelings of that immense, that exulting multitude?”


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s