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Amiens, 27  October, 1896


Original: Amiens, 27 Xieme 96
Mon cher Raymond
nous venons de recevoir ta lettre et nous te
remercions des bons souhaits
qu'elle nous adresse.
Nous avons eu grand plaisir à la visite de
ta soeur et
de son mari,qui ont pu passer
quelques heures à Amiens. Ce sont nos
voisins
maintenant, et cela nous presage
que lorsque leur mère ira les voir, elle

pourra s'arreter dans la capitale de la
Picardie que les anciens avaient la singulière
habitude d'appeler "......?"
tu peus donc
nous voir avec la famille a Samarobrives?,
quand les ... de ta batterie(?) te
laissera
quelques jours de liberté.
Nous t'envoyons nos voeux de nouvelle

année pour les tiens et toi, et crois
à l'amitié de ton viel oncle

Jules Verne
Tu sais que nous avons vu ton frère, le
nouveau lieutenant de vaisseau qui
nous
trouve ici en même temps que l'oncle Paul.

Translation: Amiens, 27 October 96
My dear Raymond
we just received your letter and we
thank you for your wishes that it(she) sent
us.
We had great pleasure in the visit of
your sister and her husband, who
had
few hours to spend in Amiens. They are our
neighbours now, and this tells us

that when their mother visits them, she
will be able to stop by the
capital of
Picardie that the eldest had the singular
habit of calling ".....?" you
must come
to see us with your family at Samarobrives(?)
when the ".....?" of your ".....?" will leave you
few days
of freedom.
We are sending you our wishes of the New
Year for all you and yours, and believe

in the friendship of your old uncle
Jules Verne
you know that we have seen your brother,the
new lieutenant of ship, who
find
us at the same time as uncle Paul
Notes: Letter is to "Raymond de Villeneuve" the son of Jules' sister Anna Verne. Born in 1858, Raymond would have been 38 when he received this letter.

It is signed "your old Uncle" and the PS mentions "Uncle Paul" who died the following year - 1897.

The letter was in the collection of a Verne descendant, and was to be sold in public auction on ebay.com along with 10 others (see also 1905 letter). The sale was cancelled prematurely.

What is difficult to determine in this letter, is the mention of "Samarobrive". There is no city in France currently named Samarobrive!

BUT on searching the web, there is an indication that it could be a reference to Amiens, or something in the surrounding area.
The site:
http://jehan.sauval.free.fr/WA1PSAMA.HTM indicates that Samarobrive was an early name for Amiens. Samarobrive in Celtic/Gaulois means "Bridge on the Somme". Currently there is a square in Amiens that uses that name (in the Quartier Saint-Leu)

Note: I do not think it is simply coincidence that Francois Schuiten and Benoit Peeters in their Les Cites Obscures created a city Samarobrive which is said to be a double for Amiens, and which they say Captain Nemo may have visited!

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