Queen's Road, Bombay

Queen's Road, Bombay

ca. 1903

An example of how writing could create something aesthetically appealing and seemingly become one with an image. Although this card was written after messages on the back of cards were allowed, people had developed ways of integrating text in and around images on the front of postcards very effectively by then, and this card was of the earlier "undivided back" type where the only the address was put on the back of the card. Like many postcards from India it was addressed to a woman, and like many of the earliest cards, written in a non-English European language. So what did the original French message say?

[Translation] March 1st, 1907 Dear cousin [feminine], Your kind card has arrived, and I thank you. You are indeed well divided on the topic of snow. So it's the opposite here. Everyone thinks it's a much warmer winter than usual. At this time, in our bathroom, which is quite to the North, it's 25 degrees. You think that the sea did not make a great impression on me; on the contrary, when we were passing through the Suez Canal, I could not wait for the moment we would be back on the open sea. The crossing of this canal is so sad; on the one side, nothing but the desert; on the other, from time to time, a house, a small station, a passing train or camel caravans. When are you planning to leave Chaux-de-Fonds [a Swiss town] and for what country??? Goodbye, my dear cousin. My dear husband joins me in sending you our very affectionate thoughts. Mary [sp?]

[Original French] Le 1 mars 1907 Chère cousine [feminine], Ton aimable carte m’est bien parvenue et je t’en remercie. Vous êtes en effet bien partagés sous le rapport de la neige. C’est donc le contraire ici. Chacun trouve que c’est un hiver beaucoup plus chaud que d’habitude. A l’heure qu’il est, dans notre chambre de bains qui se trouve tout à fait au nord, nous avons 25 degrés. Tu penses que la mer ne m’a pas fait grande impression ; au contraire, lorsque nous passions le canal de Suez, je ne pouvais attendre le moment d’être de nouveau en pleine mer. La traversée de ce canal est si triste ; d’un coté, rien que le désert ; de l’autre de temps en temps une maison, une petite gare, un chemin de fer qui passe ou alors les caravanes de chameaux. Quand pensez-vous quitter la Chaux-de-Fonds [a Swiss town] et pour quel pays ??? Au revoir, ma chère cousine. Mon cher mari se joint à moi pour vous envoyer nos amitiés bien affectueuses. Mary [sp?] [end]