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ʻA COTTAGE NEAR LONDON BUT IN THE COUNTRY' – Livingstone looks for a bolt-hole where he could write up his last expedition. He had returned from the Zambesi the month before to a considerably more muted reception than he had experienced in 1856; this letter being written on a visit to his much-neglected family in Scotland soon after. The Dr Meller referred to in our letter had served as naturalist and surgeon on the expedition (the damning letters Meller wrote home were sold in these rooms, 15 November 2017, lot 164 at £22,500 with premium). In the event Livingstone forswore his rustic idyll and opted instead for Lord Byron's old family seat, Newstead Abbey, where he was to spend some of the happiest days of his life (Tim Jeal, Livingstone, 1992, p.181).