Happy Day for Women’s History

Through the ‘about’ page I received a WONDERFUL email from Lisa Unger Baskin, regarding her collection — including a sizable amount of Ladies of Llangollen-related material! — going to Duke University’s David M. Rubinstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

The news (press release) can be read online at Duke Today (April 2015).

woolf desk

As one who uses primary materials, I find it exceptionally heartwarming to read a private collector’s feelings about “being delighted” over the prospect of “students, scholars, and the community” being enriched by access to these treasures.

I am hoping that Lisa herself will tell us about the *treasures* specific to the Ladies of Llangollen – in the meantime, you can read the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection overview here; and a short “teaser” about items relating to the Ladies. (You can explore the collection further by following the links on the right side, for instance – read about May Morris or Maria Sibylla Merian by clicking on the “artists” link.)

Women’s history, in general, is under Duke University’s Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History & Culture.  “The Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture in Duke’s Rubenstein Library acquires, preserves and makes available to a large population of researchers published and unpublished materials that reflect the public and private lives of women, past and present.”

NB: The Rubinstein Library is currently closed, 1 July through 23 August (2015). They open (August 24) in a newly-renovated space!

Further reasons for visiting Duke, since the Rubinstein also houses the travel diary of my Mary Gosling (one of Two Teens in the Time of Austen).

Thank you, Lisa Unger Baskin, for “sharing” your invaluable collection!

New Year Greetings

Michael in Wales spurred on some long-put-off updates on this site. So a BIG thank you, to him, for continuing to add to The Ladies of Llangollen.

Most years of A Plas Newydd Timeline have experienced some addition(s). The link will bring you to the main page; use the navigation along the top, to access the “years” — which now has a new page added: 1830s & Beyond.

1899-18384Michael pulled information from a book I found long ago and never did much with: The Early Married Life of Maria Josepha Lady Stanley. Yet, again, I find that books which were once found on books.google now have “late” reprint dates and are often inaccessible. For me, this book was one of the first that, seen in person at a library, I was thrilled to find online! So, now things come around: 8 or 9 years ago (!!) you could find certain books online which are now vanishing.

A favorite site, if less easily searched, is Archive.org – which seems to KEEP books once they have them. It’s there that you will find the two books which cover Lady Stanley’s girlhood and marriage.

Enough comments were pulled that I’ve created a “visitors” page for the family, though comments are usually from Lady Stanley (with one exception).

Best Wishes to ALL READERS for 2015!

* * *

NB: _I_ still experience problems with the search – using Chrome (rather forced into it by WordPress NOT working properly in IE) the original “search,” part of the “theme” (ie, I cannot delete it), doesn’t work. Thus the TWO search windows. One or the other should work for you.

 

Ghostly “Knockings” at Plas Newydd

Reader LIZ, who is counting down the days until she’s standing on Llangollen terra firma, mentioned a YouTube video on paranormal sightings at Plas Newydd.

As any good investigator would do, I searched for the link myself!

most haunted

I must agree with Liz, as to the comical repetition in a show where the line “Did you hear that?’ occurs over and again (and, I must confess, with a new roof going on the house the day I watched, frankly, NO! I didn’t hear that…). But I also agree that it’s nice to be brought inside Plas Newydd!

Just in case links cause videos to get taken down, I won’t post a link to any one video (today I see two users offering the full 44-minute episode). but the photo (above) will start off those wishing to see more.

No Searching?!

Apologies for the seemingly inactive SEARCH bar – it is part of the theme (Koi); I’ve put up another search bar in the sidebar area. Unfortunately, that gives the appearance of TWO searches (UGLY!)

Will look into activating the original, or deleting it.

Patience! It works in Explorer – but not in Chrome. Most annoying…

robot

Anna Seward’s LETTERS now complete

seward_kettleAnna Seward (1742-1809) – The six-volume Letters of Anna Seward written between the years 1784 and 1807 appeared in 1811. Volumes 4, 5, and 6 include letters to the Ladies of Llangollen. The most impressive, however, in terms of first-hand accounts of the Ladies, was sent to the Rev. HENRY WHITE of Lichfield, the letter dated Barmouth, September 7, 1795. Their aeolian harp (and Seward’s production of one for her own use) is described in the letter to Miss WINGFIELD (vol. 4; letter XLVII).

I kick myself – for I find I never posted the WHITE letter! The Ladies deserved much better from me.

And I originally thought a letter to Mrs Parry Price was of equal importance until I had to hunt up the original image views of the letters (from microfilm). I was furiously typing, when, half-way through, I realized her letter dated 15 October 1795 doesn’t mention them. No wonder that one never got transcribed…

But I do find a letter to Mrs Parry Price dated 15 September 1795 does mention them. Only there seems to be no letter in my stock pile.  I transcribed it from a copy of Report of the Royal commission on Historical Manuscripts.

The letter to Miss Mary Powys mentions Sarah and Eleanor – could I have meant to highlight that letter? I just don’t remember. It is about this time of year, eight years ago, that I first put up a website (now defunct) about the Ladies of Llangollen. It was in looking for contemporary reports on them, by people who had met them, that I first found dear little Mary Gosling. Her travel diary to Wales in 1821 (Mary’s short story of meeting the ladies) is what lead me to Mary and Emma.

Oh, dear…

I’ve been VERY preocuppied lately, and see what happens: no new posts in MONTHS. But, rest assured, that doesn’t mean I’m not around!

Will get around to posting some further incidents in Michael’s wonderful “diggings” for anything and everything Ladies of Llangollen — which I have posted as “A Plas Newydd Timeline“.  We’ve comments about and “sightings” of Eleanor & Sarah from the 1780s through the late 1820s.

The BIBLIOGRAPHY has some links – most of which are working – to useful and unusual articles, book chapters, and such like. Links for some of the *major* pieces, like Harland, Hamilton, and Blackburne are most easily found by “hovering’ over the word bibliography in the menu at the top of the blog, or choosing from among the “pages” on the right side of the screen.

I’ve still a way to go with the Anna Seward Letters. Truly terrible, because I’ve got them all typed up, from when I had a website (before moving over to WordPress). It’s just a case of cutting/pasting/proofing (the last is where I really get bogged down).

There’s a LOT of information here – more to come – and more from anyone who cares to contribute is welcome!

When people are reading — and stats are showing me there IS an audience eager to read about The Ladies of Llangollen — and commenting, then I have to take the time to add more, don’t I. Keep me on my toes!

News of the Ladies, c1832

The great-aunt of Emma Austen (my diarist) visited Llangollen several times. In transcribing her diary for May 1832 I found the following:

19 Sa on this day Saturday we got to Langollen – where we dined and Slept the Kings Head is a most comfortable Inn – and as none of us like to travel on Sunday – we determined to remain here the whole of the next day. —

20 Su on hearing the Service was to be in the Welch language in the Morning we read our prayers at home – at one OC- we walked to Plasnewydd. Mr Hamilton who was left Executor to Miss Ponsonby having given us permission to see it – he shewed us the Cottage — and we afterwards walked over the grounds – we returned to the Hotel to rest ourselves – and at half past 3 OC– we all went to the parish Church – the prayers were mostly read in English – and the Clergyman gave us an excellent Sermon

It is very poignant, after reading earlier visits where the Ladies themselves entertained Mrs Smith, to read this last entry of a lone walk over the house and grounds of Plas Newydd, permission given by “Mr Hamilton… to see it”.

In the Grounds Plas NewyddVisit “Plas Newydd en peintre” by clicking the picture

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