Lear was travelling back to England from Malta, where he had spent the winter. He found the landscape there dull and so was more than ever overwhelmed by the beauty of Corfu, where his boat stopped for a few days on its way to Trieste. 'It is all very well to write down the words, ''extraordinary loveliness'', but after all one is no nearer the mark of giving an idea to others of how lovely this place is. The calm - a twitter only of birds: the thick carpet of grass & flowers; the great olives all around: their shadows ever changing - letting warmth in between their branches, or throwing a shortlived darkness on the rocks & herbs below. - Far down, the world of olives with black trunks & outstretched arms & motionless foliage: further down still the heights covered with thousands of olive trees - & then the successive promontries of Ipse, [...] Tassia & Corfu - growing gradually paler blue till the last lines of [...] meet those of the Parga hill & fade away-Paxo & Sta Maura distant beyond all [...] Pale greens & blues, darker greens & browns - these are the only colours - & how green the light between the olive branches. The too great abundance of the wild onion is the only drawback!'