Over the weekend, I discovered this unknown little charmer – a slim book published 1905, featuring letters written by the children of Walter Scott to their governess, Miss Millar.
“Letters, Hitherto unpublished, written by members of Sir Walter Scott’s family to their old Governess…” is a slice of life in the Abbotsford (Melrose, Scotland) household between the dates of 1810 to 1837.
I enjoyed the descriptions, in the introduction, of Scott’s children, especially of his two daughters: Sophia (who married the Scott biographer, J.G. Lockhart) [above] and Anne [below].
Currently in the midst of reading letters written by the three Clephane sisters of Torloisk (the eldest married Spencer, Lord Compton in 1815), I had hopes of finding extracts of their letters TO Scott when I searched for the volumes of Lockhart’s Memoirs of Sir Walter Scott.
There are TEN volumes (in the 1882 edition) of the Memoirs, which are listed below:
vol. 1 – 1771-1997
vol. 2 – 1798-1806
vol. 3 – 1806-1812
vol. 4 – 1812-1814 [a fine description of Torloisk]
vol. 5 – 1814-1818 [Mrs. Scott’s portrait]
vol. 6 – 1818-1821 [Sophia Scott’s portrait]
vol. 7 – 1822-1825 [Anne Scott’s portrait]
vol. 8 – 1825-1826
vol. 9 – 1827-1829
vol. 10 – 1830-1832
There are other editions (earlier and later), but having access to one specific edition will help continuity.
Scott’s children were not long-lived. For those having an interest in some background to the family, as well as superb photographs of Abbotsford – the home Scott built from his book proceeds, which nearly bankrupted him, visit the estate’s website. Even James Edward Austen Leigh (Jane Austen’s nephew, who married my diarist; see Two Teens in the Time of Austen) toured Abbotsford; he was a fan of Walter Scott’s “Waverley” series, and the family devoured everything Scott produced.
The introduction to the Governess letters comments upon their most-recent (c1905) dissemination through the hands of several people with ties to Miss Millar. I now wonder, of course, where these precious letters CURRENTLY reside.