Emily D. James diary, 1880-1882.

James, Emily D., b. 1861.
1 volume.
English diaries -- 19th century -- Specimens.
English diaries -- Women authors -- 19th century.
Kensington (London, England) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
London (England) -- Description and travel -- 19th century.
London (England) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
Reading lists.
Book catalogs.
Manuscripts, English -- 19th century.
Daughter of Francis James, a lawyer in Kensington, England born in 1815, and Ann James. Emily was born on 26 May 1861 and had several siblings.
This red-leather, ruled diary has an etched brass lock and spans the years from 1880 to 1882. The journal was presented as a gift and is inscribed on the recto of the fly-leaf, "Emily D. James Christmas 1879, from Miss Roakes." The first two pages are copied passages from John Ruskin's Modern painters and Charles Kingsley's Saint's tragedy. Emily is eighteen years old when she begins the diary and she proposes to "write my diary, which shall not deal in feelings or fancies, but in facts principally." Emily writes daily from a few lines to a couple of pages. She records the activities of the family, including when her father is away, when her brothers Alfred and Frank are home from school, and when she goes out with her sister Bertha. She records the books she reads, such as Jane Eyre and Memoirs of Sister Dora, and her opinions of them. Emily attends several plays and sometimes includes the cast and actors. She also is present at many concerts. Emily writes of going German lessons, practicing music on the harmonium, and attending classes and services at St. Mary Abbott's. Emily records many social encounters with friends and family such as teas, lunches, and dinners. She records seeing boat races between Cambridge and Oxford. Emily mentions going to museums including the Grosvenor Gallery and South Kensington Museum. The family travels to North Wales for summer vacation where Emily describes the town of Llandudno. Emily notes when she goes to the dentist and at one visit receives laughing gas to have two teeth extracted. There are only two diary entries in 1882 one in June and one in December. Two fliers announcing special services at Westminster Abbey in the spring of 1880 are laid in. There are lists of books Emily has read on the last two leaves of the diary.
Penn Provenance:
Sold by Alastor Rare Books (Lymington, England), cat. 23 (2013), no. 52.
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