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.


In the Post: two new/old Victorian Diaries

Feeling in a mood last week to “treat” myself, I order TWO old books:

maudMaud: The Diaries of Maud Berkeley

riding high page

a page from
Riding High, 1896-1903: Scenes
from a Lakeland Childhood

More about them later, when I’ve had a chance to ‘savor’!



Online: Lady Charlotte Bridgeman’s Journals

lady charlotte bridgeman
Although I’ve mentioned this on Two Teens in the Time of Austen, “GEORGIAN GEMS, REGENCY READS & VICTORIAN VOICES” is the perfect place to pay homage to a new set of journals. The work of Marianne and Philip van Dael, all researchers and readers of diaries owe them a nod of ‘thanks’ for offering this online!

From February 1846 through January 1857 (at present the online journals being in 1847), extant journals present the life of Lady Charlotte, her family, and friends. To my surprise: Lady Charlotte’s family was related to the Seymours of Kinwarton! So, how wonderful to read of Orlando Gunning (Richard Seymour’s brother-in-law), Lady Elizabeth and Charles Scrase Dickins (Fanny Seymour’s cousins); and hear of stays at Coolhurst, the Sussex home of the Dickins family. I’m still “dipping in” and urge you to come join me – at Weston (the Bridgeman estate), in London, or even Wells – favorite haunt of the Smiths of Suttons.