Mary Brunton


Mary Brunton, the Scottish novelist (1778-1818), published only two works of fiction during her short lifetime; the work Emmeline, With Some Other Pieces was published posthumously (1819) and includes travel journal entries for 1812 and 1815. Mrs. Piozzi brings up Discipline (1814) in two letters to Mrs. Williams. All three Brunton works are available online at La Brocca; also included: Jane Austen’s comments in letters to her sister and niece on Self-Control (1811).

These journal entries come from the summer of 1815, presumably August 26th and 27th:

Saturday.–A wearisome climb to Dinas Bran, under a burning sun. The ruins are extensive, but not picturesque. The view is boundless down the vale; in all other directions it is inclosed by hills. That to the north is fully as bleak and desolate as any thing I have seen in Scotland; a tame ridge of grey rock, unvaried by soil or vegetation. We endeavoured, as usual, to find the shortest way to Valle Crucis; and as usual found only the worst. We passed a very Scotch-looking farm-yard, where the children were barefooted, and spoke Welch. They all, however, can ask for a halfpenny in English. Valle Crucis is pretty–not grand. The ruins are poor enough, and are disfigured with a cottage ornée and farm offices. Spent the afternoon with the ‘Ladies of Llangollen.’ ”

Sunday.–The whole of the church service was in Welch.–Spent this afternoon also with ‘the Ladies.’ ”


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