Mistress of Riversdale

Publisher / date: The John Hopkins University Press, 1991
pages: 423
Hardcover & paperback editions
genre: letters

Before readers think I recommend only British diaries and letters, this book proves that’s not the case! Edited by Margaret Law Callcott, Mistress of Riversdale: The Plantation Letters of Rosalie Stier Calvert, 1795-1821 has so much to offer. Our protagonist, Rosalie Stiers Calvert, grew up in Belgium, and emigrated during the Napoleonic Wars. You can visit one of the houses she lived in at Annapolis, although the house keep the Stier history rather silent: the William Paca House. (Info on the House and the Paca Gardens.)

The Stiers moved to Annapolis from Philadelphia; after marriage Rosalie remained in the States while her family returned to Europe. The letters are between those families members and make for fascinating reading! Whether Rosalie writes of politics, homelife, buying land or making investments, her letters will open you eyes about this period. Callcott gives a fine introduction to the family.

Granted there are British roots here: Rosalie married George Calvert, a natural son of Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore. And the letters cover the period of the War of 1812.

It was here I first learned of the wonderful book entitled Mrs Hurst Dancing… more on that book later!

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One comment on “Mistress of Riversdale

  1. […] I recently took this book off the shelf again. Hadn’t remembered talking about it – but I did, in the early days of this blog. […]

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