Ellen Tollet of Betley Hall

publisher/date: Betley Local History Society, 2008
pages: 254
paperback only
genre: diary

Every researcher dreams of finding a source like the journals of Ellen Tollet. Mavis E. Smith has an abiding interesting in the Tollet family, and has presented a lovely book, with illustrations, that gives a glimpse into the lives of this family.

Ellen was 22 years-old when she began her 1835 diary; journal 2 covers some of 1836 and there are entries in a third journal for the 1840s. A “parallel” diary by Sister Georgiana, covering late-1835 to mid-1836 are also included.

Highly recommended for anyone interested in the domestic lives of 19th century British women.



  • I highly recommend the Nantwich Bookshop for purchasing such harder-to-find local publications; easy website, friendly service – and they might even supply a signed copy!
  • The Telegraph‘s story on the Nantwich Bookshop
  • The Betley Local History Society‘s official website features publications and meeting schedules
  • The Chester Chronical featured a nice article on the book, and its editor Mavis E. Smith


If you’ve read this book — or want to do so — please leave a comment


3 comments on “Ellen Tollet of Betley Hall

  1. […] In working on some ideas for Emma, I’ve been reviewing a book I bought a couple months ago (and which was delayed about a month, thanks to US Customs…), Diary of a Betley Governess in 1812. Editor Mavis E. Smith had won me over with her earlier book on the Betley Hall household with the publication of Ellen Tollet’s diary of 1835. […]

  2. […] am reminded to mention The Darwin Correspondence Project, and also that Emma was a friend of my dear Ellen Tollet (a book I highly […]

  3. […] of Two Teens in the Time of Austen may know of my admiration for Mavis E. Smith’s book, Ellen Tollet of Betley Hall; for instance, I mention being “positively engrossed” in this book of Journals and […]

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