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"The Diary of a Sojourn of eight Fields in South Devon. From July 29th, to September 14th 1893 ? (Written at Ringmore, from which this is) Copied verbatim (except spelling), by B.D.F"
The Lower Farm, Ringmore, near Kingsbrige, South Devon, 1893. A manuscript journal, fair copy. Original watercolor drawing of "Lower Farm" bound in as frontispiece. [i-iv], 1-132 pp. pen and ink. 8vo. Bound to style using contemporary materials, green half morocco over marbled paper-covered boards, small lettering-piece to spine (some scuffing and rubbing). The Field Family on Holiday A charming and quite accomplished record of a six-week stay in a farm house in South Devon: the narrative draws on reports of the day from five of the eight Field siblings (all of whom are listed on the title-page). The remaining three Fields were apparently too young (Cyril, "Baby" and "Daisy"). Also included is some quite poignant poetry, and the journal as a whole captures the joy of a carefree holiday in a late Victorian English summer when it never rained (it did) and the blackberries went on forever (they did). The journal was collated, edited and written out by Beatrice as a Christmas present for her two sisters, and recalls the countryside, the house, the people, the walks, lawn tennis games, the church, local towns and villages, "bathing," shrimping, and "messing about." Unusually, the family (who travelled by train from near Reading in Berkshire) does not seem to have been accompanied by either of their parents, although Beatrice who was the eldest did have her 21st birthday during the sojourn. She appears to have been in charge. The majority of the entries are from Beatrice: she has something to report on 37 of the 48 days of the sojourn. Blanche and Margaret left early (on the 28th of August) but they each contributed substantially (with 10 and 9 entries respectively). Durrant provided 3 entries, and Arthur 7. The local vicar, the Rev. Francis Hingeston-Randolph (1833-1910) was a quite distinguished writer and his family provided suitable friends. There are other friends and acquaintances, but the Randolphs figure most prominently, and there is a hint of romance between Beatrice and Charlie, one of Rev. Randolph's sons - the final entry ("Written between Ivybridge & Totnes ... Written on the train") concludes "Charlie & I gazed & waved till the last - Farewell." It is interesting to note that the house, re-named slightly 'Lower Manor Farm,' is still available to rent (over 2000 GBP per week in August!).
      [Bookseller: James Cummins Bookseller]
Last Found On: 2015-03-06           Check availability:      Biblio    

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