On this day

January 27, 2011 at 12:02 am (chutes of the vyne, estates, people, places) (, , , , , , , , , , , )


In 1793, young Eliza Smith (Eliza Chute as she would become in October) is writing in her diary. She is in Great George St, London, her father’s residence:

27 January “…Out in the morning. Admitted at L:y Arden’s Mrs Jelfe & L:y Cunliffe… Farquhar came to Fanny  We read together 2 vol. of the Benevolent Quixote a novel  Alone I began Mad:e de Sévigné’s letters & read Pope’s Moral essays”

My favorite mentions in this entry are Lady Cunliffe — who was mother to Eliza and Mary Cunliffe, the future mother and aunt of my Mary Gosling; and of Madame de Sévigné — whose letters I have read with great interest. Madame’s old Paris home is now the Musee Carnavalet, which, alas, I appreciated more for her past presence than for its value as a history of Paris museum. (The Wikipedia entry has a link to some evocative photos!)

Eliza Chute’s own London home, in Great George Street, was a former home of another national museum: the “infant” National Portrait Gallery. See details (and some wonderful pictures of this demolished residence) at British History Online.

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