eBay: Gertrude Savile diaries

May 19, 2017 at 11:37 am (books, diaries, history) (, , , , )

Vicky alerted about the Kingsbridge (Devon) Oxfam‘s eBay auction of a copy of Secret Comment: The Diaries of Gertrude Savile, 1721-1757.

gertrude savile(NB: see eBay ad for pictures of actual copy up for sale; this is not theirs)

I am a BIG fan of this book – who doesn’t love a book over a Twitter feed; and Amanda Vickery’s short section of Gertrude Savile does the diarist such disservice! Anyone reading this book, Gertrude’s diaries, will know there is so much more to Gertrude Savile than a reputation as a mere constant complainer.

Starting “today” (19 May 2017), you’ve 8 days to bid — and remember, profits go to OXFAM, a very worthy charity.

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Two Teens in Louisville

October 11, 2015 at 1:47 am (books, jane austen, jasna) (, , , )

Here I am at the JASNA – Jane Austen Society of North America – Annual General Meeting 2015. I’ve given my paper Saturday (the room seemed filled; but it is rather all a blur), and some participants had interest in my book that went on sale at the Boutique shop JANE AUSTEN BOOKS.

The bookshop does mail order! so click on the link to ask about obtaining YOUR copy of TWO TEENS IN THE TIME OF AUSTEN: RANDOM JOTTINGS, 2008-2015. This is a new expanded version of the Kindle book (sorry to say, I’ve no current plans to re-do the Kindle version). I may do PDFs of the updated book version (write to me, if that interests you).

km_book_2015

Copies arrived at my home a couple months ago (above), but have not been on sale prior to this AGM weekend. Here they are (unfocused, I’m afraid; not my camera!) on the table, amid all the other JANE AUSTEN goodies, at the Regency Boutique here at the Galt House hotel:

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I’ll have more to say a bit later. So enjoy this view of Louisville in the meantime (from our hotel room):

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Jane Austen Books will need time to get their inventory home – but I’d love to see readers support this research, and I hope the book would interest — given all the pertinent articles spelling out the family of Emma and Mary exist in one place. Thanks – no matter what – for reading and commenting on the blog. Support comes in many forms, and from many people. I’m always GRATEFUL when you “lend an ear”.

JA books

NB: Amanda Vickery was plenary speaker this year. Fascinating talk – and she signed TWO of my books, The Gentleman’s Daughter and Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England.

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Everything’s Comin’ up GEORGIAN

April 8, 2014 at 6:49 pm (british royalty, entertainment, history, news) (, , , , , , , , , )

In anticipation of the 300th anniversary of the accession of the first Hanoverian King (1 August) British television is beginning to present a lot of things “Georgian”.

A friend watched the first among this series  — and recommends the collaborative BBC2/BBC4/Radio3 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY BRITAIN: MAJESTY, MUSIC, AND MISCHIEF.

Being in the US, I can only look on, and drool. The BBC website has teasers that include:

  • Explore the story behind the Charity Concert “The Messiah” at the Foundling Hospital (1750)
  • The “mass consumption” of music
  • A look at “the first Georgians”
  • An examination of the World Premier, in Prague, of Mozart’s Don Giovanni

mozart_ye

And SO much more!

It’s a RICH era, and lucky will be those who can watch/listen, or find items online. READ more at The Telegraph.

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Pride & Prejudice: Having a Ball

May 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm (entertainment, fashion, history, jane austen, news, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Act now to watch Amanda Vickery’s program Pride and Prejudice: Having a Ball.

Austen! Food! Dance! Music! Wonderfully informative.

You’ll even learn about White Soup.

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for more on

Comment on the show

  • leave comments below; I’d LOVE to hear from you

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Fascinating Diaries of Gertrude Savile

December 27, 2012 at 7:24 pm (a day in the life, books, diaries, people) (, , , , )

I have written elsewhere (see Regency Reads) about the diaries of Gertrude Savile, specifically: my search for a copy of the book Secret Comment edited by Alan Saville. Today, amid the howls of snow and wind I finally sat down with the Gertrude Savile TWITTER page and … read.

While applauding the dissemination of the diaries, I must confess that I dislike reading them backwards (newest tweet to oldest), yet what I have read today – starting with Christmas Day, December 1729 back to September 1729 – her grumbles and concerns and pleadings are truly fascinating!

Some favorite entries:

(Sept 7) At 12 went in a Chair to Mr Farhams the Painter (Nany came to me). Sat 2 hours. Came home near 3. Sat the first time for my Picture. It does not yet promise to be at all like. It is not out of vanity (for I never had less reason) yet I can give no better reason for my doing so silly a thing as having my own Picture Nobody elce thinks it worth it. In short I had a mind, & have gratified my self. Never could have chose a worse time.

(Oct 9) Sent for Mr Wellbroke who came before his time & before we had dind – he dind with us.  A fortnight since I gave my Harpsicord to alter, which is a very indifferent one, tho it cost £40, was much cheated. He undertook to mend the Toutch & Stops & a few other faults – & I gave him 4 Guineys. It came home 2 or 3 days since. To day he came to Tune it again, & be paid – he look’d also at the Organ, which took up most of the Afternoon. Playd of the Organ after he was gone. O Lord William how I gnol ot wonk ruoy traeh [=how I long to know your heart].

{I’ve not quite figured out what has brought about her longing for Lord William – or even who he was. And, yes, she sometimes writes BACKWARDS!}

(Oct 15) I think I may need make no appologies to my self for my many intermitions forgetts &c. in this now tyrsome task I set my self many years ago I did propose some good in it & have often found pleasure At least an imployment for many tedious hours that has hung upon my hands, which spent quick without doing any thing woud have made me mad. Tho I am at presant pretty weary of it – & the writing of my Actions & thoughts is grown as disgreable to me as the performance. Yet I do not design to renounce it, but to take off all restraint (which always disgusts) & the notion of a Task & business that I may have hitherto imposed as indispensably necessary upon my dear self who is grown so weary of it. I think fitt to declare to my dear self – that henceforward I will go on with it without any further apologies in this broken manner. In short I will imploy my time & paper in this work without impeachment of wast. I will write half a sentance if I please, half a thought if I please, or Half a Word. This Indenture Triperite agreed to by all the partys consernd in wittness wherof they have interchangable sat their Hands… I. Me. My Self.

I’ll leave you with the latest tweet:

(Dec 25) Xmas Day. Not Unhappy.

The twitter account can be found @GertrudeSavile.

boyde-saville

What made me so *mad* for Miss Saville?? It was watching the episodes of Amanda Vickery’s At Home With the Georgians. I highly recommend the DVD, as well as the segments where Gertrude Savile is portrayed by Hannah Boyde.

The actual diaries are at the Nottinghamshire Archives. Start now, for you’ve only 2,664 tweets to catch up with!

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Tales of Noses & Ears: Portrait Mysteries

January 5, 2012 at 8:44 am (portraits and paintings, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

In the midst of all the changing thought on Paula Byrne‘s “Austin” portrait, I thought I would write a few words on my own little mysteries. It is because of these “thoughts” that I can commiserate with Paula! and why also I found the show, Jane Austen: the Unseen Portrait? a great viewing experience. Let me explain, from “a beginning”.

When I first began working with these diaries and letters, I was — of course! — presented with really NO images of anyone. I came across a photograph taken of Emma Austen Leigh in older age (6os), then began to find early drawings and silhouettes of her. All were identified — so problem solved! Or so you might think. At least once (an oil painting, seen in a photo), I found an image that looked unlike the others. Just a bad artist? Just more like her than the others? How to answer that question??

While watching the Amanda Vickery show about The Many Lovers of Jane Austen (which I also enjoyed; quite returned me to Fort Worth! But am I alone in thinking the show deserved a bit less-titillating title??), there flashed up on the screen a COMPLETELY new image of James Edward Austen Leigh; I can’t say (having seen a photo, again taken when he was in his 60s) it looks like some of the drawings I have, although it quite seems an off-shoot of another drawing.

Here is the Vickery special’s picture:

There’s just something about it, between the “wind-blown hair” and the “glum” look that makes him look less-than-sober! (Sorry, Edward.) Anyway, except for its identification as “Jane Austen’s nephew, James Edward” I’d not quite recognize him. No clue who has this image. The more I stare at it, while typing… perhaps it’s meant to look “Byronic” or “Romantic”. Will have to look through the letters and diaries. There was ONE image Emma mentioned (by Mrs Carpenter, I belive) that she criticised as “not very like”. But I thought that one covered by an image in Life in the Country! (ie, the book of James Edward Austen Leigh silhouettes, with Jane Austen quotes.)

Today, I was delighted to get a photograph, thought to have been taken in the 1860s, of a Seymour brother. The archive and the person who sent me the photo are unwavering that it represents Sir John Culme Seymour. For several reasons (which I won’t go into here), I believe that — yet wonder: Could it be a different Seymour brother?

So tonight I was looking at the EAR. I’ve a later photo (definitely 1867) of John Seymour, though he is facing the OPPOSITE direction. Oh my! While the lips seem a bit downturned in the ’67 photo, and upturned (a smile?) in the ’60s photo; I’ve long looked at the noses; and now also the ears. The ears do seem to match — rather smooth, as opposed to one brother who has a bit of a pendulous lower lobe.

The reason I bring these things up?? To outline, if briefly, that one DOES compare noses — and other bits and pieces!

Of the Seymour family, I’ve four photographs: three brothers and one sister. Do they look alike?? I can’t say they do!

I once was in church with a family of 8 or 9 siblings. There were short ones and tall ones; thin ones and fat ones; and facially, they really didn’t resemble each other either! Yikes! (I have no brothers and sisters; but I’ve cousins who rather resemble, in small ways, each other.)

When I first found the image of Emma — a photograph, remember — one of my first thoughts was: How much did she and Charles, her brother who died in 1831, look alike?? Did he have her nose? Yes, I found myself asking that Paula Byrne question!

When I first saw an 1860s photo of Mary’s brother Robert Gosling, again my thought was: How much did Mary look like him? — hard to say, looking at a very “Victorian” Gent in a stove-pipe hat! (Frankly, all I could think of was Abe Lincoln.)

Then there’s the REAL puzzle of the Beechey portrait — discussed in the post I’ve Found My Girl!?! — Oh, that one is difficult. The West Virginia museum that has it obtained it BEFORE the portrait at Suttons was sold at auction. That is the hard hurdle to get past. I can believe the costumes were perhaps “old” (c1803) to emulate their mother, who died in 1803. But this tale supposes there once was TWO portraits… And that’s hard to get around.

And yet…

And yet…

The Gosling girls are said to be 3/4-length, seated at a piano, with music in the hand of the elder and a frill painted (for modesty, it was painted years later by that same elder sister!) along the neckline of the younger sister. All those elements are there. You can view the Early Music magazine cover here. (It’s a PDF).

The hunt is on — but while Paula Byrne has one portrait to authenticate — and Sir Roy Strong may be correct in his prognostication that her chances are “Nil” — I’ve, let’s see… Two sets of parents, nine Smith siblings, seven Gosling siblings, four grandparents, a “Smith of Stratford” aunt, three “Smith of Erle Stoke” aunts, three uncles on the Smith side, and an uncle-in-law on the Gosling side, two Smith cousins, a handful of Gosling cousins, numerous in-laws, some children…

Ah! Exhausting just writing about them all. I do hope you’re not exhausted reading about them all.

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