Wollstonecraft and Goethe, both northerners from cold, rainy climates, enthuse repeatedly in their correspondences* about the presence of sunshine.

The warm reach of the sun was also surely a factor in granting each of them a measure of peace: for Goethe, when he arrives in Rome and no longer feels the need to double his life in writing (“I am here… Only now do I begin to live”), and for Wollstonecraft, during countless moments when nature impresses itself on her as the salve and renewal of an exhausted, disillusioned spirit. Waking on a ship one morning, she greets daybreak with these words: “I opened my bosom to the embraces of nature; and my soul rose to its author.” Two decades later, her daughter Mary Shelley would write from the banks of Lake Geneva: “when the sun bursts forth it is worth a splendor and heat unknown in England.”

Moyra Davey, Index Cards, 116.

* Mary Wollstoencraft, Letters written in Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
Johann Wolgang von Goethe, Italian Journey.