To John Foster 11 July 1841 [Dalmally]

“I was not at all ill pleased to have to come again through that awful Glencoe. If it had been tremendous on the previous day, yesterday it was perfectly horrific….We went on to the [Inverouran] inn- the wild man galloping on first, to get a fire lighted- and there we dined on eggs and bacon, oat-cake, and whiskey [sic]: and changed and dried ourselves. The place was a mere knot of little outhouses, and in one of these there were fifty highlanders all drunk….Some were drovers, some pipers, and some were driven in by stress of weather. One was a paper-hanger. He had come out three days before to paper the inn’s best room, a chamber almost large enough to keep a Newfoundland dog in; and, from the first half hour after his arrival to that moment, had been hopelessly and irreconcilably drunk. They were lying about in all directions: on forms, on the ground, about a loft overhead, round the turf-fire wrapped in plaids, on the tables, and under them….”

Charles Dickens

Quoted in ‘The Selected Letters of Charles Dickens’ edited by Jenny Hartley. Oxford. 2012.


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