Some new (“old”) diaries

Have been on a bit of a buying spree; came home recent with the following:

courtney of beverleyJohn Courtney’s diary, published as The Diary of a Yorkshire Gentleman, I’ve wanted to read since seeing a little snippet about him in Amanda Vickery’s video At Home with the Georgians.

She also mentions him in her lecture “What did eighteenth-century men want?” (video presentation via Gresham College)

Christopher Roberts (University of Leeds) has given the talk “John Courtney of Beverely: Music & Courtship in the life of an 18th Century Yorkshire Gentleman

There’s a very hard-to-find journal article on Courtney as well: “John Courtney went a-courting” (East Yorkshire Local History Society Bulletin, No. 42, 1990)

The Courtney papers are located at the University of Hull.

Alas, the promised follow-up book by Susan & David Neave evidently never materialized.


highland lady dublinFilling in the LAST volume of diaries for Elizabeth Grant, also known as The Highland Lady, is the book dealing with her years in Dublin. The first — which is a true “must read” is Memoirs of a Highland Lady (covering her youth and marriage). An older publication can be found online – and has some lovely photos!

Published, in the Andrew Tod edition from the 1980s, is its companion The Highland Lady in Ireland (the decade 1840-1850, minus the years in Pau). Two books fill in, this one of her years in Dublin; and A Highland Lady in France (covering the years 1843-45).

The blog “I Prefer Reading” include enchanting commentary on the author (and the 2nd book too)!

Her highland home, Rothiemurchus, still exists.


emily shoreLastly, an old friend – that I originally got as a library book — this was a gift (along with so much else! thanks, Mervyn), which I almost turned down because I had a digital copy. But who can say no to a BOOK?

Emily Shore actually has a connection to my Smiths & Goslings: she was related to Emma Austen’s great aunt, Susannah Smith of Bersted Lodge.

The most intriguing part of the “afterlife” of this publication is that a couple of Emily Shore’s original journals have come to light! The editor of this edition, Barbara Timm Gates, gives a VIVID account of the ‘discovery’.

Those interested in the book, the journals, and Emily Shore are encouraged to check out the website (subscription) at the University of Virginia. Readers have limited access – so do take a look at the links to the INTRODUCTION and CONTENTS.