Two new Illustrated Diaries

I have not seen these books, but I am VERY intrigued!

Baker_on the Broads

A Week on the Broads was “advertised” in the recent Christmas email from the bookshop at The National Archives in Britain. Only 96 pages, it didn’t really catch my attention at first. But I have been to Norfolk, and I my attention was piqued just enough by the sub-title, “Four Victorian gents at sail on a Norfolk gaffer in 1889,” to search it out. I’m glad I did!

S.K. Baker’s volume about the Norfolk Broads actually has a companion volume, entitled Camping on the Wye. Both came out this year, in June and August 2017.

Michael Goffe, a descendant of one of the “gents” who accompanied Baker, owns the sketchbooks — “Facsimile” in this case means S.K. Baker’s words and watercolor pictures! lets us “look inside” the two books:

  • Camping on the Wye: Four Victorian gents row the Wye in a randan skiff in 1892. (also: a Sample, from Bloomsbury, includes the “into”]
  • A Week on the Broads: Four Victorian gents at sail on a Norfolk gaffer in 1889.

And it’s the look inside that will convince you that there’s a LOT packed inside. Here’s a page from each volume:


A Week on the Broads


Camping on the Wye


S.K. Baker and his “Victorian Gents” made the Times Literary Supplement in October (2017). Of course, the writer (Jacqueline Banerjee) alludes to Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat – and calls her article, “Four Men in a Boat”.


More images from the book, A Week on the Broads, and some background information can be found in The Great Yarmouth Mercury‘s article — including a photo of Michael Goff. It was this article, by Andrew Stone, that REALLY fired my imagination!

And there’s the thing: illustrating why the books are “facsimile” editions (as Stone’s article does) goes a LONG way towards helping readers appreciate just what their owner is now sharing with us. This small remainder — just two sketchbook diaries — of one man’s life (and four men’s adventures) is a very special gift indeed.

Diaries for Dana

mauSince reading the blog comments of Dana, I’ve been mentally picking books to recommend – the ones that came first to mind were two already discussed here, including the one book I simply cannot say enough GOOD THINGS about: The Diary of Sarah Hurst.

diaries_sarah_hurstDana was hoping for diaries – by women! – where the writer shared thoughts and feelings.

There are many I could recommend, but fewer that are what Dana requires: “more detailed”.

So tonight, a few that have come to mind. Hopefully, people’s comments will elicit a bit more commentary about the books – for, it’s getting late and has been a long day. But if there’s ONE THING I LOVE TO TALK ABOUT, it’s BOOKS!

Every time I go upstairs, I see the cover of one of the most delightful books – not only do you get a GREAT sense of the writer, she was an artist too! It’s an old book, published back in the 1980s. maudIt had its US and UK versions (I do presume the interior of the book remained unchanged), and therefore had also two dust covers. Spend the extra and find a copy with its jacket — you will be glad to have the “whole” package.

maud-2Maud’s late-Victorian thoughts and hijinks are just a delight – and, as you can see by the cover art, she was a wonderful artist! How I wish author Flora Fraser had published more along this line. And more about Maud Berkeley!

I was going to keep on going, but maybe I’ll save my next for another blog post. Maud certainly deserves to be at the head of a list, not one among many. A very special book – and diary.