'I'm convinced that actual letters - merely corrected - are the most vivid and popular form of presenting one's impressions of a country.'
Miss Bird wrote this to her publisher, John Murray, and I heard it in an episode of BBC Radio 4's 'Great Lives' (which is great, check it out). Isabella Bird's early travel books were based on letters to her sister at home, so they have that immediate, intimate style and are - for a Victorian writer - remarkably fresh and accessible.
But this line caught my attention again because it occurred to me that blogging is really a version of what she described. I occasionally wish my descriptions were better informed or more profound, but I started writing for family and friends and my posts reflect the true, sometimes confused, sometimes inarticulate impressions I had at the time of writing.
When this posts I will be in ITALY and will return next week with tales of pasta and wine and dolci, oh my.