Anna Atkins (Google Doodle)

March 17, 2015 at 8:30 pm (books, entertainment, history) (, , )

Often I stare at any given day’s “Google Doodle” with a thought for the cute design. YESTERDAY I found myself thoroughly entranced by learning about a woman who lived during the lifetime of my Two Teens!

Anna Atkins was born in 1799 — the same YEAR as Emma’s eldest sister Augusta Smith; she died in 1871, five years prior to Emma’s own death. Right there, given the overlapping time-frame, I was captivated.

atkins cyantope

But there are also ties to Tonbridge (Kent) and Fox Talbot (an important figure in the early days of photography). And her images are GORGEOUS!

  • Read Fox Talbot Letters online (for fun: search for COMPTON to find some ties to Two Teens [not ALL hits will be for Lord &/or Lady Compton])

I have to admit, that I am partly captivated by these Cyanotypes because of their “relationship” to the flower paintings done by the Four Sisters of Erle Stoke Park (ie, Emma Austen’s mother and three aunts).

rhs images

Search for “Meen” to see some Erle Stoke floral drawings!

 

Two Teens actually HAS an “early photograph component to it too: Charles Spencer Scrase Dickins, son of Lady Elizabeth Compton and Charles Scrase Dickins. Some of his photographs of Italy are reproduced in the book PICTURING PLACE: PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE GEOGRAPHICAL IMAGINATION. (<-Yes, this book gets the ordering of his name incorrect; and this one incorrectly IDs his uncle as a “duke” ->) His biography appears in the text Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860. (online preview)

Anna Atkins also provided engravings of shells to illustrate works. Of the Four Sisters of Erle Stoke Park, Lady Northampton (the eldest of the quarter) had an intense interest in shells, which included painting them with a similar attention to detail that one finds in the floral paintings!

I’m a bookworm, so will have to see what is available about Anna Atkins. Thrilling discovery! And a name I will now be on the lookout for in any of the later letters and diaries.  Did any of “my people” meet Anna Atkins??

 

Advertisements

Permalink Leave a Comment

Coolhurst Discovered

September 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm (books, europe, history, places, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Come meet the Scrase Dickins family:

Maria, Marchioness of Northampton, widowed mother to:

Lady Elizabeth (née Compton) Scrase Dickins, a young lady described by her cousin Augusta as “your strength and courage have more than once led you into very imprudent situations, such as few other ladies would ever get into. You may feel like a man but remember you do not look like one. God bless you sweetest Liz.” Wife to:

Charles Scrase Dickins (or Dickens)- known as CSD  in the diaries of his cousin Charles Joshua Smith – was first a family friend, then husband to his beloved cousin Lady Elizabeth.

A great image of their children, drawn by Miss Corbaux; published in Fisher’s Drawing Room Scrap Book (1849).

For me, a thrill is to read about Horsham in an earlier diary, the delightful Diaries of Sarah Hurst, 1759-1762: Life and Love in Eighteenth Century Horsham, transcribed by Barbara Hurst and edited by Susan Djarbi (Amberley; 2009). A FASCINATING account and wonderful book. See the West Sussex Gazette review.

Read more about Coolhurst by clicking on the page “estates” (see menu on right)!

Permalink Leave a Comment