Whilst I was going through my father's genealogy magazines over the last few weeks, I stumbled across a small column about the publication of some Regency and Romantic era diaries written by a lady that I had not heard of before, Charlotte Grove. However, I had heard of her sister Harriet Grove, who is well known as the great love of the poet Shelley, who was a cousin of theirs.
Two volumes were written before she was married, then come 2 more after she was married, which are penned by Charlotte 'Downes'. Although the first three sets of diaries have been published, the last one (1839-58) is sadly 'to be published at a later date'.
They are all going on my 'Christmas List', and I do hope that the last volume is published in the not too distant future. They are only available to purchase here.
So, who was this lady? Charlotte Grove was born to land owning gentry in 1783. She was sent away to school, and by the time she was a young lady, became a very fine proposition for a man on the look out for a wife. It comes as a surprise to me that she was not married before the age of 44, in 1827 to a clergyman. Charlotte was a prolific diarist, but sadly fifteen years worth of documentation is missing, including all from the period 1847-56.
Charlotte lived a long and interesting life. Her diaries must be fascinating to read, spanning from 28 years of age until her death in 1860 at around 87. They must obviously hold details and descriptions of both a privileged and auspicious Regency society, as well as the day to day lives of the less fortunate, whom Charlotte must have come to know through her life as a Reverend's wife and daughter of a landowner.
To read more about Charlotte and her diaries, please visit this website put together by some of her descendants:
p.s. I didn't quite get around to the sleeve puffs over the weekend (blame the tennis!) I will get them done during the next few days, I hope!