Lots of Anne Lister news

September 22, 2022 at 8:14 pm (books, diaries, entertainment, history, news) (, , , , )

Periodically looking for new books being published — especially with search terms women, biography, England — I recently found Jill Liddington’s As Good as a Marriage: The Anne Lister Diaries, 1836-38. Publication date is scheduled for May 2023 (Manchester University Press).

As Good as a Marriage joins the prior Liddington volumes:

  • Nature’s Domain: Anne Lister and the Landscape of Desire – which presents Lister’s 1832 journal entries
  • Female Fortune: The Anne Lister Diaries, 1833-36: Land, Gender, and Authority – which fits between the earlier book and the next volume of diaries

Of course Liddington’s publications build upon the Lister diaries published by Helena Whitbread:

  • I Know My Own Heart (aka: The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, volume 1) – featuring journal entries from 1816 to 1824
  • No Priest But Love (aka The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, volume 2) – the follow-up features Lister’s journals from Paris in 1824

All Lister fans are patiently awaiting Whitbread’s biography of Anne Lister.

At the very least, the paths of Mary Gosling & family and Anne Lister crossed via visits to the Ladies of Llangollen. Both visited Plas Newydd, the home of Sarah Ponsonby and Lady Eleanor Butler.

The next piece of news concerns the upcoming ANNA LISTER RESEARCH SUMMIT.

This is a three-day extravaganza features topics like “Shew us the archives”; an update on the Transcription Project; studies of Anne Lister’s Reading Habits; “The Lister Moves”; and “Mining Laughs”. Check out the ENTIRE schedule of offerings on the SUMMIT website – where you can also REGISTER for this FREE conference, which runs October 14-16, 2022 (with videos uploaded to YouTube for those sessions that you miss). They meet over ZOOM and are time-zone friendly.

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Saying Goodbye to the Queen

September 19, 2022 at 4:54 pm (diaries, history, news) (, , , )

In 1818, Emma Smith noted the death of Queen Charlotte on the 17th of November. Emma’s diary tells us that she put on mourning,on the Sunday following (November 22). What stuck in my mind, and was brought to mind today – the day of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral – were Emma’s words written against the date December 1st:

Tuesday, Dec 1 After much consideration whether we should stay as Mrs Gosling proposed & see the Queen’s funeral at Windsor or go home it was settled that Mamma & Augusta should return to Suttons Wednesday & that I should stay at Roehampton till Monday 7th

Wednesday, Dec 2 Mamma & us besides the Goslings stationed ourselves near Hounslow Heath for the purpose of seeing the procession  it was very quiet  the hearse seven of the Queens carriages some mourners & a troop of lancers. from thence Mama & Augusta returned to Roehampton  they slept there & went the next day to Suttons. I went on with the Goslings to Windsor  they had secured a room in the Castle Inn  we dined there & about 8 o’clock the procession passed us. the road from the Castle to Frogmore was lined with soldiers every sixth man bearing a flambeau besides some of the cavalry & all the mourners  the Regent was Chief Mourner the Dukes of York & Sussex were also present  the whole sight was very grand. Mr & Mrs Gosling Elizabeth & Mary & I all laid down in a double bedded room. W:m & Bennett returned to Roehampton

Thursday, Dec 3 The Cavalry was reviewed before our windows. We walked into the Castle but they would not show it  then to Eton Coll & returned to Roehampton for dinner

To all those who paid respects

(click to watch BBC broadcast – over 9 hours of coverage)

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“First the Music”

September 13, 2022 at 3:04 pm (books, entertainment, history, jane austen, news) (, , )

In Italian, “Prima la musica, et poi le parole” means “First the music and then the words.” Its underlying meaning shouts the primacy of the composer over the librettist. The one-act opera by Antonio Salieri premiered on 7 February 1786, at Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, a commission from Emperor Josef II. Premiered the same evening and venue was  Mozart’s comedy in one act, Der Schauspieldirecktor (The Impresario).

It was from this evening’s rivalry – for, long ago (LP’s anyone??) I had purchased a recording of one of Mozart’s better-known operas, and the music from “The Impresario” took up the room on the last side of the set – that I took the title for a chapter in a forthcoming book on “Women and Music,” with a focus on Emma Austen’s eldest sister, Augusta Smith. Born in London in February 1799 – so just thirteen years after that night of music in Schönbrunn’s Orangery – Augusta Smith, to me, seems the epitome of The Accomplished Woman, especially when I focus on her musical skills. But: there were so MANY accomplished women in the Smiths’ circle of family and acquaintance. You meet MANY of the young ladies in the chapter, which is entitled, Prima la musica: Gentry Daughters at Play – Town, Country, and Continent, 1815-1825.

Emma Smith
(1820s silhouette)

see also the Carpenter (attributed) portrait at HRO.
See Smith of Suttons, pedigree 2.

Thanks in no small part to covid, the trail this chapter and the work of other contributors to the book, has been lengthy and circuitous. Yet, the publishers who first showed interest back in 2019 has just this past week given the green light to our project! Bucknell University Press will publish Woman and Music in the Age of Austen. I suspect the book will hit stores in time for Christmas 2023.

Watchers of this blog will notice a slight, and very recent, title change – from “Women and Music in Georgian Britain” to “Women and Music in the Age of Austen.The prior title will bring up several notices, especially by contributors (including me, through Two Teens in the Time of Austen).

In a next post about the forthcoming book, I’ll include a table of contents & contributors. to whet your appetite for more on Women and music in the age of Jane Austen, which “age” runs, of course, from the late 18th century into the 19th century – but Austen herself reached back into the past, before her birth, and her influence continues into our own decades of the 21st century.

The book runs to over 400 pages in manuscript. The hopes of the editors are to make the volume “affordable”.

Stay tuned!!

 

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Adding Book Reviews to Academia.edu

July 25, 2022 at 11:43 am (books) (, , )

Anyone reading this blog, Two Teens in the Time of Austen, will know of my ABIDING OBSESSION with BOOKS. I’ve posted several book reviews, over the years, here – and there’s a plan for more. I do wish that JASNA would update their online book reviews; my latest reviews, quite favorably, Freya Johnston’s JANE AUSTEN: EARLY AND LATE. Of course, being written for the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA), it appears first in the society’s newsletter JASNA News, one of the publications members receive.

But I’ve looked at the online book reviews – nothing later than the Summer 2020 issue. Therefore, also left out is my double-review of Amelia Rauser, The Age of Undress: Art, Fashion and the Classical Idea of the 1790s and Kimberly S. Alexander, Treasures Afoot: Shoe Stories from the Georgian Era, which appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of JASNA News.

Amelia Rauser appeared at the JASNA AGM (Annual General Meeting) that took place in Chicago in the fall of 2021. Author Emma J. Clery, whose books include Jane Austen: The Banker’s Sister [which focuses on Austen’s brother HENRY AUSTEN], will be a plenary speaker at the 2022 AGM,

It dawns on me that, although I tag “reviews,” readers might more easily *find* all of them if they are listed in one place. So, look for TWO additions: a category on “Academia.edu” for (non-JASNA) Two Teens in the Time of Austen reviews (I’ll also include any on Amazon, too). As well, I’ll add a new page to Two Teens that lists just book reviews — although you will always be able to find links via “ABOUT THE AUTHOR” — scroll down!

Speaking of SCROLLING Down:

Academia.edu DOES allow for free, no-account-necessary, ONLINE reading of articles. BUT: it sure doesn’t LOOK that way when you first come to the landing page!

Most people would immediately CLICK on the “Download PDF” — and that WILL ask you to log in.

There’s now a significate section of other people’s “related” papers [links and titles] and — if you KEEP scrolling! — then, *finally* the online paper. I only wish the TOP of the page had “View PDF” (like the “related” papers section….). It doesn’t. Certainly, MY first thought last night was, people have to LOG IN? I wouldn’t wish to do so EITHER – until I’d seen, perhaps read or at least sampled, the paper in question.

In short, I’d dearly *love* to make book reviews as accessible as possible. Nine times out of ten, I have good things to say about a book. And reviewing books takes a great deal of time – and dedication – to stick with a book in order to “taste its flavor” and to form cogent thoughts on the writing, the format (I love notes and bibliographies; sometimes sadly missing or inadequate), the editing, the author’s general argument. And authors, I’m sure, would dearly love potential readers to find their work.

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Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth & Tring Park

June 4, 2022 at 11:54 am (entertainment, estates, history, news, portraits and paintings) (, , , , , )

Some exciting news –

A little while ago I found David Shakespeare‘s work on the “Pregnancy Portrait” of Queen Elizabeth I. David has come across a photograph of Tring Park (Hertfordshire) during the Rothschild years — and his sharp eyes spotted, hanging on the Hallway wall, the very portrait I had found in a Smith Sister’s drawing, which quite obviously “copied” this well-known work:

Below is the sketch, enlarged to show only the “Portrait,” in pride of place between two Drawing Room windows — the image’s focal point as well as the room’s focal point, despite the loss of the fourth wall behind the viewer. This interior sketch surely dates to the late 1820s, during the Smiths’ early occupancy of Tring Park, their Uncle Drummond’s [Sir Drummond Smith] former country house, by that time sold out of the family – and yet rented again by his relations:

In my first blog post (written nearly ten years ago) I called this image “Mystery Lady and Deer” and I was seeking further information and had hoped for identification (see post “Have you seen this Lady?“). A few months later, I found the “Elizabeth I” image. As I wrote at the time, it was a “MAJOR Oh-My-Gosh!” moment (see “Mystery Portrait ID’ed“).

From time to time, I’m impelled to revisit old thoughts, old blog posts. I don’t recall what I was looking for — undoubtedly something to do with TRING — when I came across this discussion from David Shakespeare, on the very portrait in question!

It was the PDF that I came across first. Impressive scholarship! A member of the De Vere Society, David’s hour-long presentation on “The Pregnancy Portrait of Elizabeth I” (2018) is a must watch. I’ll include here a link to David Shakespeare’s entire YouTube channel.

As you might imagine, when I emailed the full sketch (the original is among the Austen Leigh papers at the Hampshire Record Office), David was intrigued enough to visit Winchester with great speed. What intrigued me was the ability to really see, thanks to his detailed photographs, what I have never seen in person. Heightened to darken the faint pencil lines of the original, for the first time, all viewers get a glimpse into Tring Park and the material lives of the Smith Family.

An ASIDE:

Tring was the first marital home for Emma and Edward Austen [the Rev. & Mrs. James Edward Austen Leigh], and the birthplace of their first children.

I have come across three sketch books by Fanny Smith (Bodleian Library, Oxford); one by next youngest sister, Charlotte Smith (Tring Local History Museum); and work of youngest sister Maria Louisa Smith. So there are “contenders” for the artist(s) of the two sketches of Tring Interiors at HRO (Hampshire Record Office). HRO presumes the artist to be either eldest sister Augusta Smith or next eldest Emma Smith. Without in-person study, and other artists’ work as comparison, I make no guesses.

Another ASIDE:

A related sketch book, of ten drawings, sold on eBay in November 2020 – the known contents of which (five drawings) closely mirror the Fanny-Charlotte sketches. Presumably, the sisters were sketching the same places together. Needless to say, I would love to know more about the current whereabouts of this eBay item, as would Tring Local History Museum.

I invite you to view David’s newest video “Update on the Pregnancy Portraits” (there’s a PDF as well) – where he not only tells about Tring’s missing portrait, but also offers fascinating insight, observations, and theories on the “original” portrait. And, yes, the plural word “portraits” is meant literally. For David would DEARLY LOVE to find the painting that used to hang at Tring, last seen during the Rothschild ownership.

Thrilling for me is David’s up-close-and-personal dissection of the Tring Drawing Room!! Including fascinating new information on the pianoforte seen on the left edge of the sketch. He will walk you around the room, before informing you about the “painting” seen in the drawing and the portraits – found and yet-to-be-discovered.

Join us!

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“Quite as much of THAT going on in the country as in town”

April 2, 2022 at 3:10 pm (books, entertainment, history) (, , , )

Ah, dear Mrs. Bennet!
(Pride and Prejudice)

Long ago I purchased two novels by Anne Thackeray Ritchie: The Story of Elizabeth and Old Kensington – reprinted as part of the “Her Write His Name” series by THEOMMES. The life and work of ANY female writer, never mind one relating to Victorian England and carrying the well-known THACKERAY name, was/is of interest.

Anne Thackeray Ritchie comes up every once in a blue moon, even in connection with the Austen Leighs of this blog, Two Teens in the Time of Austen. As she did TODAY, when I was double-checking access to the Eton College (Manuscripts) Archives. Soon-to-close is a special exhibition at Eton, in the Tower Gallery: “A Victorian Legacy: Anne Thackeray Ritchie’s life and writings.”

Running from 14 October 2021 until 14 April 2022, (by appointment), “This exhibition, based on an extensive archive of over 1000 letters, family albums and other personal papers in Eton College Library is the first dedicated to her in her own right.”

Eton, it turns out, has Anne Thackeray Ritchie’s copy of JANE AUSTEN: HER LIFE AND LETTERS, A FAMILY RECORD (1913), by William Austen Leigh and his nephew Richard Arthur Austen Leigh. Dating to a few years later (1919) is a letter from RAAL to the Hester Ritchie, said to be “Regarding Anne Thackeray Ritchie and an article about her work.” But what REALLY caught my eye was notice of a publication by Anne Thackeray Ritchie, of A Book of Sibyls: Mrs Barbauld, Miss Edgeworth, Mrs Opie, Miss Austen.

Of course I scrambled to find an online copy:

A Book of Sibyls: Mrs Barbauld, Miss Edgeworth, Mrs Opie, Miss Austen

The chapter on Jane Austen begins on page 197, and opens with a page-length quote of dialogue from Pride and Prejudice, which includes Mrs. Bennet’s “complete victory” over the dreaded Mr. Darcy with the observation that “titles” this post.

The book itself opens with this delightful mise-en-scene:

Not long ago, a party of friends were sitting at luncheon in a suburb of London, when one of them happened to make some reference to Maple Grove and Selina, and to ask in what county of England Maple Grove was situated. Everybody immediately had a theory. Only one of the company (a French gentleman, not well acquainted with English) did not recognise the allusion. A lady sitting by the master of the house (she will, I hope, forgive me for quoting her words, for no one else has a better right to speak them) said, ‘What a curious sign it is of Jane Austen’s increasing popularity! Here are five out of six people sitting round a table, nearly a hundred years after her death, who all recognise at once a chance allusion to an obscure character in one of her books.‘”

Alas what county each opined for Maple Grove is not mentioned.

It is easy to speculate if the “Lady” seated beside the “master of the house” wasn’t an Austen Leigh by marriage….

I leave it to you to discover this publication for yourself, and veer off to books on the Thackeray family:

Anne Thackeray Ritchie’s Wikipedia entry mentions the 2-volume set of “biography” by John Aplin; and also his five-volume edition of their “Correspondence and Journals” The latter is tremendously pricey; I may look into the former, especially as, being two volumes, one can buy one and then the other. There are also the biographies focused on the daughter by Winifred Gérin (1981), which one critic thanks for making “rediscovery” of the writer possible. And Anny: The Life of Anny Thackerary Ritchie, by Henrietta Garnett (2004; 2006). For a review of this last, by biographer Hermoine Lee (Virginia Woolf), read The Guardian. I especially appreciate Lee’s closing thoughts on “how obscure, unrecorded lives can speak to us.”

 

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Thin End of the Wedge? Online Security and Research “overseas”

March 30, 2022 at 12:51 pm (europe, news, research) (, , , )

Today, wishing to look up a citation for a drawing done, surely by one of the Smith sisters during their occupation of Tring Park (so, late 1820s most likely, but, depending on WHICH of the six sisters, perhaps into the early 1830s), I could not make the Hampshire Record Office catalogue actually SEARCH.

Was/Is it down?

I wasn’t sure that it wasn’t MY internet connection; me or them; or whatever??

I now searched rather than use my “book-marked” link, just in case there had been an update (although the SITE came up; it just didn’t actually SEARCH).

I clicked on the Hampshire Archives and Local Studies link on google – and got a “This site can’t be reached” error message. Again, was it my connection??

I clicked on the link for their Facebook page. And was ASTONISHED to see the following “pinned” to the site since March 16 (2022):

* * * * *

“As part of our current online security measures, connections are blocked to Hampshire County Council webpages from countries outside the UK, EU, and European Economic Area (EEA).”

* * * * *

The link, by the way, they supply does bring up the catalogue – but it still wasn’t searching for me.

My great fear, of course, is that “Online Security Measures” of THIS sort will bring my research to a screeching halt. The Hampshire Record Office is one of “the” biggest stash of Smith & Gosling-related stuff! And any collapse of online access really closes down my ability to find further items relating to my research, which (lately) has been done by a locum whenever I’ve located something I absolutely had to CONSULT and couldn’t do in person.

I have located, to date, items like diaries, drawings, and letters in countries as far apart as the U.S., the U.K., Italy, Australia. If I can’t SEARCH, I cannot FIND.

I won’t be alone… I will be in good company, I’m sure.

I haven’t looked to see what other archives this same directive affects – I’m sure HRO is not alone (so many use the same “Calm” catalogue structure).

Believe me, I _know_ about security vulnerability – but closing ACCESS from countries NOT in “your neighbourhood” cannot be the solution! Not for archives, especially.

I might say, given past access denied, this is NOT the first time that the likes of the U.S. has come in for such denial to freely available data. Obviously, those few (I can think of access to Queen Victoria’s Diaries), will now be joined by the likes of PUBLIC Archives.

Thin end of the wedge, indeed. Especially for those of us who use the nomenclature of “Independent” researcher. Some sites cannot even be “purchased” for use by individuals (I think especially of the GALE databases).

It has been said before, Two Countries DIVIDED by a common language. The UK really has shut “US” out with this move.

I hope that in the future there will be access at least through a “sign in” registration. But for now, I’m waiting to get home to look at my downloaded Austen Leigh archive information – and waiting for a sign that the catalogue was actually DOWN today (about 5 PM UK time) [I will update this, should that be the case]. I rather have my doubts, but would LOVE to be pleasantly surprised.

UPDATE: 90-minutes later and the SEARCH is actually working. And I found the citation for the drawing of Tring Park’s room. Lessens, a bit, the block of items beyond the HRO online catalogue, but I fear it’s just a matter of time…

further UPDATE (July 2022): I’ve been able, still, to access the full catalogue.

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2/2/22 – Mary’s 222 Birthday

February 2, 2022 at 11:43 am (diaries, estates, history, jane austen, postal history, research, World of Two Teens) (, , , , , )

I simply could not let today pass without a passing nod at my first diarist, Mary Gosling — also know here as Lady Smith (following her 1826 marriage to Sir Charles Joshua Smith, baronet).

There could be NO harder name to “search” or “research” than a couple called Charles and Mary Smith!

And yet, the research has been GOLDEN.

I first found Mary’s earliest diary – a set of six trips taken between 1814 and 1824 – in 2006, when I was wishing to note down “authentic” sightings of the Ladies of Llangollen, Sarah Ponsonby and Eleanor Butler. I had visited their northern Wales home, Plas Newydd, in 2005. Mary Gosling met them! And she left her impressions of them. Well… less her impressions than notes of what others always said of them. I was QUITE disappointed, especially in the brevity of her thoughts — for, within a page, the family had DEPARTED Llangollen!

BUT: Mary herself began to intrigue me. Mainly, because the family members were shown around Plas Newydd and they spent about four hours with the Ladies, in their home. THAT one premise began EVERYTHING that has gone on since — from all the research into the Smiths of Suttons, as well as my interest in the Ladies of Llangollen themselves.

The results of all this early research:

  • Two Teens in the Time of Austen – this blog, so named because Mary’s sister-in-law, Emma Smith, my second diarist, married James Edward Austen. And Edward was the nephew of writer Jane Austen.
  • Ladies of Llangollen – a blog whose information, based on a website I created circa 2006, still needs additional work, but it currently hosts interesting artwork, book excerpts, and information on people who visited Plas Newydd — the GOSLINGS included — during the tenancy of Ponsonby and Butler, as well as after.

The Smiths took over my life – buried me under diaries and stacks of letters, stocked my brain with tidbits of personal and national (England) history, squinted my eyes in deciphering a myriad of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century “hands,” and made me spend my money and my time (not sure WHICH is more costly, in the end), in a never-ending pursuit after more knowledge. The nosing-around their lives has made and still makes me HAPPY.

by Frenchie (Photobucket)

With that thought, I wish Mary Gosling the HAPPIEST 222nd Anniversary of her 2 February 1800 birth. She graced the earth for only 42 years, leaving three youthful children, whose faint faces I have now unearthed. And she opened the door for a true glimpse into the past.

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The After-Life of Ann Jackson, Servant

January 20, 2022 at 11:49 am (diaries, estates, history, news, people, research) (, , , )

Quite some time ago, I found reference to “Bennett Gosling, Esq.” at the Old Bailey Online. His valet, Thomas Wenlock, was giving testimony in a theft case that had occurred in July 1839. I made mention of both Thomas Wenlock and Ann Jackson as having been part of Bennett’s household on the page “Servants-Clerks-Governesses.” For Ann Jackson, her employment seemed in the past.

Given that I have, (I think), ONE letter penned by Bennett Gosling – a brief note. Given that, among the Goslings, only Mary Gosling, Bennett’s younger sister, has left diaries – which, except for travels, are all daily diaries written after her marriage in 1826 to Sir Charles Joshua Smith, baronet (Emma Austen’s brother). AND given that only a handful of a household’s servant population manage to gain more than one mention in a person’s diaries (ie, there might be at least the hiring and/or the dismissal mentioned), SERVANTS are the hardest to construct any kind of roster. The early 19th century census, unlike our common “every ten years” really comes down to the 1840 census — and people were not always at home on Census Day. I once searched the census for Mary, Lady Smith – I had her birthday — Ancestry could NOT find her. I looked up her diary — she was in town (London) and staying at the Curries’ home (sister-in-law Charlotte and husband Arthur Currie).

Little did I know, at the time, that the age for Mary was incorrectly approximated in the census. In essence, I knew (and searched) too-specific information!

Anyway…

I was happy to find mention of Ann Jackson a few days ago. She turned up in an Australian database because she received a sentence of TRANSPORTATION at her 9 July 1839 trial. This *find* of a new-to-me website made me revisit what I had previously found at the Old Bailey.

The transcript of Ann Jackson’s trial can be read online. She was found to have in her possession disparate items from two households – the stays of Mrs. Pearse, for example, valued at 30 shillings; and two coats (valued at £4) of Bennett Gosling, Esq.

Arrest and trial records of the period tend to be rather sketchily transmitted. The policeman, Andrew Wyness, for instance, according to his testimony, follows the young woman, pushes open a door, and then confronts Jackson, demanding to know what’s in her bundle.

Was Wyness entering a residence? a rear yard? What had made him suspicious of Jackson, other than that he spotted her at “Four in the Morning”…

Wyness could not have known at the time that Ann Jackson would be found to have an alias – Maria Donaldson – though WHAT NAME she was using at the time of her employment with the Pearses (or Bennett Gosling) is not quite noted. Surely Wenlock had not known her under one name and come across her at the Pearses’ (where he lodged) under another, but which name she used when is anyone’s guess.

That she was indicted under the name ANN JACKSON leads me to believe this was her legal name.

Wenlock’s testimony that he and Bennett (“his master”) “went into the country” can only mean they spent the weekend at Roehampton Grove, before returning to banking duties on Monday. Sister Mary’s diary does not indicate a visit to Suttons that July weekend.

The Prisoner at the Bar was summarily sentenced after a brief self-defense. She was given Ten Years and Transported to Van Diemen’s Land. Ann Jackson was 23-year-old at the time of trial.

Jackson’s Australian history is picked up by the website “Edges of Empire Biographical Dictionary of Convict Women from Beyond the British Isles“, edited by Lucy Frost and Collette McAlpine.

Jackson sailed on the Gilbert Henderson, reaching Van Diemen’s Land on 24 April 1840. Steve Rhodes, in his write-up of her biography, supplies interesting details missing from the curt Old Bailey transcript. Born in South America, she had been raised in London. Rhodes believes her legal name to have been MARIA DONALDSON, and promotes a marriage to one Robert Donaldson with a marital home at 1 Tavistock Street, London. The marriage had produced at least one (living?) child.

Surely it is convict records that accounts for the fascinating PHYSICAL details:

Jackson “was a short woman at 4 feet 9 1/2 inches (146.05 cm) tall, had dark brown hair, hazel eyes and fair complexion, and her freckled nose was inclined to the right.”

Records record only a few personal details of her time in Australia. There’s a “case of misconduct” (no information) on 16 April 1842. The delivery of an illegitimate child a few months later, on 28 July 1842. She married John Sykes, “a free man”, in Hobart on 26 December 1843. Evidently in the marriage registry Sykes is described as a 25-year-old mounted policeman. Given the earlier indication of a marriage, Jackson is incorrectly described as a 26-year-old “spinster”. “There were three children known to be born to Ann Jackson”, writes Rhodes, though I am unsure if this includes the two prior children he had already established or not.

Also produced online is the BOOK, Women Transported: Life in Australia’s Convict Female Factories – a tie-in with a (2008) exhibition. Access the PDF catalogue and its essays by clicking on the picture (above). Essays include Gay Hendricksen’s WOMEN TRANSPORTED – MYTH AND REALITY; Carol Liston’s CONVICT WOMEN – IN THE FEMALE FACTORIES OF NEW SOUTH WALES; and Trudy Cowley’s FEMALE FACTORIES OF VAN DIEMEN’S LAND.

PLEASE NOTE: the website listed on the title page goes to a blog. The correct website address evidently is a “dot org”: https://femalefactory.org.au/ which will take you to the website for Cascades Female Factory (currently – early 2022 – closed for construction of a new History & Interpretation Centre).

Interesting reading in their evocative Brochure. There were five such “factories” in Van Diemen’s Land. And, yes, Ann Jackson’s name appears in the catalogue’s list of names.

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Mystery of the 1794 Stock & Pudding (fashion)

November 27, 2021 at 4:05 pm (fashion, history, london's landscape, research) (, , , )

There was a time when I hastened to find the solution to this mystery. Only, nothing much turned up. Things ‘cooled’; time passed.

This morning, I read from a book I bought long ago, when the diary-keeping of Elizabeth Porter Phelps, in Hadley, Massachusetts, initially caught my attention, called, Earthbound and Heavenbent: Elizabeth Porter Phelps and Life at Forty Acres, 1747-1817, by Elizabeth Pendergast Carlisle (Scribner, 2004).

Back in September, I mentioned in my blog Isadore Albee’s Civil War, (based on a series of diaries relating to the Albees of Springfield, Vermont; a future project), an earlier Vermont-related item, a Friendship Album dating from the late 1830s-early 1840s. This “Window into the Past” opened upon a different family, the wife and children of Charles Phelps of West Townshend, Vermont during a period of intense correspondence between the three young daughters – Eliza (named after her mother, Eliza Houghton), Fanny, and Jane. A main topic of conversation was of going away to school, for Eliza – who attended Mrs. Willard’s Troy Female Seminary (Troy, New York), and then Fanny – who, by dint of more numerous letters, went to schools in Chester and Brattleboro, Vermont; before leaving for the Misses Edwards’ School in New Haven, Connecticut. Isadore Albee’s early diaries frequently comment upon her desire to attend school, in order to teach. Coming approximately 20-25 years later, the Albee diaries found a ready companion in the album and batches of letters from the Phelps family because of the similarity in major topics, and how one generation would have *inspired* a future generation.

It was in looking for the duration of Eliza Phelps’ “tenure” as a scholar at Mrs. Willard’s school, and in finding only mention of the similarly-named Elizabeth Phelps Huntington (Elizabeth Porter Phelps’ daughter), that I re-plucked off the shelf Earthbound and Heavenbent. Elizabeth Porter had married an earlier Charles Phelps – in fact, the paternal uncle of “my” Charles Phelps of West Townshend. There is much in the book about Charles Phelps (of Hadley, MA), his brothers Solomon and Timothy (my Charles Phelps’ father), and their father Charles Phelps, Senior, who was living in Marlboro – and struggling hard AGAINST statehood for Vermont (admitted into the Union, as the 14th State, in 1791).

By this morning’s read, the children of the Hadley branch of the Phelps family had passed through the Revolutionary War and into the late 1790s. The only son, Porter, is in Boston, and his sister Betsy is evidently thanking him for a fashionable purchase made on her behalf:

“my pudding or neck-cloth, was not disliked tho’ ma said I should frighten some out of the house of worship — however I believe they withstood the shock — for I heard no disturbance.” [p 131; dated 18 Dec 1797]

PUDDING!

The word immediately made me scramble for the file of Smith & Gosling letters.

In a letter dated 1 February 1794, Sarah Smith (my diarist Emma’s maternal grandmother) mentions the London fashions to her daughter Eliza Chute, who always elected to remain at The Vyne, in Hampshire, despite her husband being a Member of Parliament (with one brief hiatus, William John CHUTE sat in the Commons from 1790 to 1820). While Sarah clearly describes something around the neck, I was uncertain what a PUDDING constituted in the fashionable circles of London circa 1794. Was it a fashion coming into being? Was it something fading out? The month of February would have seen the majority of country families just settled back in London. Whether related to MPs or merely moving to Town for the Season, now the parties and soirées increased in numerical intensity until Easter, and quietly wound down by June, when people left again for the country (though not necessarily their own estates).

Mrs. Smith’s letter claims as the latest fashion,

“for the Ladies either a very full Muslin plain Stock with a large Pudding, or the long cravats like your old one twisted round the neck & fastened behind”.

Words like STOCK and CRAVAT everyone knows and everyone can conjure up images – but even google got stumped over a correct description for a PUDDING. Look for it in ‘fashion’ and it is usually described as a toddler’s head-wrap, to guard against striking the head in a fall.

See, for instance, this write-up and photograph of a Pudding Cap.

Yet the idea of it being constructed of stuffed ROLLS is something to be remembered in a few moments….

Carlisle, in Earthbound and Heavenbent, in citing Betsy Phelps’ quoted letter, goes further in establishing WHAT Betsy’s “pudding” must have been:

“The word ‘pudding’ applied to a type of neck scarf derived from the nautical use of the word”. Carlisle goes on to described the nautical pudding as a “wreath of plaited cordage”. She alludes to its use on a MAST but deletes the word or words immediately after. Could the missing bit speak to the ship’s BOW? For, in googling nautical pudding, the “rope fender” protecting the BOW is the most consistent “hit”. And the subsequent photographs really point to some item that could be adapted and worn around the neck.

In just using the word FENDER in its nautical sense, (instead of Carlisle’s nondescript item for a mast that “prevent[s] chafing”), the image conjured is one of cylindrical bulk. The images found also allude to the fanciful knots that might have decorated any woman’s PUDDING. There is, however, the possibility of a couple of manifestations.

Here is a wonderful depiction, in several photographs, of what is described as a BEARD FENDER.

Mrs. Smith’s “a large pudding” could be a fall of fabric, as in the BEARD. That they were NOT the same piece of fabric is evident by her description of Eliza’s sister (Maria, Lady Compton): “Maria has made her appearance with the plain Stock but no pudding.”

Some fenders, for instance those posted to this Pinterest page, give more ideas to the type of “roll” that might have been worn around the necks of these Fashionables. The plaiting also could take on several forms. The material? Probably muslin, but not necessarily so.

the weave (above) of this bow
pudding is beautiful

this dense weave almost resembles a burlap

it’s easy to imagine:
exposed, a pudding could be decoration around the neck;
hidden under the stock, it could have added
weight or even layers to a manipulated muslin stock

If anyone has further information – especially, whether this was related to the jabot (as I tend to think of the ‘beard fender’), or truly was made of a rope material, I would welcome enlightenment upon the PUDDING as a fashion accessory for the necks of fashionable Georgian-era Ladies in London.

 

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