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.


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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