Dramatis Personae

November 28, 2008 at 10:44 pm (people)


A new addition: listings of the various people found in the diaries of Mary Gosling/Lady Smith. This is taken from a rudimentary list I began making a couple years ago; I have not yet done the same with Charles Smith’s diaries or Emma Smith/Emma Austen’s diaries, never mind the family letters…

peopleSeeing names gathered together gives not only an impression of the vast research to be undertaken, but the large circle of people one woman encountered during her lifetime. Some will be familiar to readers of Jane Austen’s letters; others are “famous” singers and artists; many are neighbors, especially in Essex, around Suttons; some are yet to be fully identified while many have produced at least some identifying information. The dates equal the year(s) in which Mary mentions them.

As usual, my plea is to anyone with information or who can provide basic identification. Deciphering handwriting is a difficult task, and sometimes I get the name slightly wrong and have to guess. (Mary’s spelling is quite tidy and consistent, as is her hand – which is not the case with Charles! — thankfully his diaries came after hers…) Emma and Mrs Smith often provide a bit of insight as to names and relationships of neighbors and friends, and theirs were the materials I transcribed in person rather than via microfilm. While having items ‘in the flesh’ sometimes made deciphering easier, these are items I have no images of and therefore cannot at present go back and consult.

The most difficult task is to take someone who is a mere Mr, Mrs or Miss Lastname and give them some life history! However, the Smiths and Goslings did not live in a vacuum; their friends, servants, neighbors, national newsmakers all contributed to their lives, and the one way their diaries make sense is to flesh out the people they encountered and lived among.

Then there are those family members who exist as little more than birth-marriage-death dates… I firmly believe many more have left behind diaries or letters that just need to be unearthed!

The links to the relevant pages are supplied to the right of this window.

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1 Comment

  1. Grace said,

    Leonard Currie is Isaac’s younger brother. William Currie m Magdalene Lefevre in 1753 and had issue:Magdalena, William, Mark, Judith, Isaac, John, Mary, Peter, Sarah and Leonard. Mark had 8 children inc Sir Frederick. Mary Currie, whose brother was the banker Henry Currie, m John Flutter Chandler in York (1801) at which time her wealth was reported in Jacksons Oxford Jnl as 70,000 pounds. J F Chandler had attended Oxford before becoming one of a dynasty of vicars at All Saints, Witley, Surrey. There are a number of memorials to both families in this church.

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