Thursday, 21 May 2015

Harriet Parr: bibliography, "Tuflongbo", and a dog's life

Harriet Parr
While we're on Shanklin topics: I've expanded the 2014 Harriet Parr in Shanklin post to include a detailed bibliography, and I'm also delighted to say that I've finally found a portrait of her! Parr is another of those low-key writers who've turned out to be astonishingly prolific (in her case mostly as the pseudonymous "Holme Lee"). En route, I encountered her mid-career children's stories such as the odd "Tuflongbo" elf-saga, and the canine tear-jerker The true pathetic history of Poor Match. I'll only inflict the pictures on you.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Shanklin Home of Rest

Further to the previous post, I checked out Shanklin Home of Rest as planned. Its history turns out to be quite well-documented. But I'm always of the opinion that there's never any harm in another take on a topic - especially as this, it turns out, ties in with a previous Shanklin post on JSBlog.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Rambles Through England: Isle of Wight

Rambles Through England: Isle of Wight is a rather idealised description of an 1890s Isle of Wight visit by the uncredited correspondent of the Fleet Street based Ludgate Monthly - launched in 1891 as "a new illustrated threepenny magazine". A deal of it is pretty standard stuff - feel free to skim - but it's a pleasant account of touring the Wight in more genteel days, with a few topics worthy of commentary, such as the uncommon account of the decor of Mrs Harvey's Home of Rest in Shanklin, and the procedures for getting to visit Osborne House when Queen Victoria was alive.

Monday, 18 May 2015

A Vision of Communism

The works of Bertha Thomas (1845-1918) continue to produce a crop of surprises. A while back I mentioned Maxwell Gray's excursion into post-apocalyptic SF, After the Crash; and now I find Bertha Thomas too moved into borderline SF/fantasy on occasion, as in her 1873 A Vision of Communism, which interested me for its strong similarities to a classic 20th century SF story.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

We are not enthused: regional roots of a peeve

A slight sidetrack: I just ran into a bygone usage peeve - or at least one that ought to be bygone - via a review of Bertha Thomas's 1913 Picture Tales from Welsh Hills., in which the Dial reviewer takes umbrage at "enthuse".

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Bertha Thomas: bibliography

A spinoff from the previous post that may be of use/interest to someone. Even a brief search for works by Bertha Thomas (1845-1918) finds she was a greatly more varied and prolific writer than you'd expect from the handful of novels that appear in most credits. I got on the trail, and at the end of an evening I found myself with a detailed bibliography: what she wrote; what about; and where (if possible) to find it.

The House on the Scar: A Tale of South Devon

I offer Bertha Thomas's 1890 The House on the Scar: A Tale of South Devon as a regional curiosity worth reading if you're into Victorian melodramatic romances. I found it syndicated in the Sydney Mail, starting in the Jan 18, 1890 issue, and it turned out to be in the Internet Archive. Set in the South Hams, Devon, it's one of the few - but apparently popular - novels by the Worcestershire-born author Bertha Thomas (1845-1918).

Friday, 15 May 2015

The Isle of Wight: in a series of views printed in oil colours (1874)

The Isle of Wight: in a series of views printed in oil colours is the Victorian  equivalent of a coffee-table book, published in 1874 by Thomas Nelson & Sons of London, Edinburgh & New York. I always like these collections, of which the 19th century Isle of Wight supported a huge industry, and the best of them are lusciously printed, showcasing state-of-the-art chromolithography. This is one of the many lovely and otherwise scarce books now downloadable from the Bodleian Library digital collections.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Ferny Bank House of Rest for Women in Business

Back in 2010 I picked up and ran with the topic of a short piece in the Western Morning News - Holiday retreat offered women a break from urban life – and men (Peter Carroll, WMN, Nov 13th 2010) - where there seemed to be a great deal more to tell. This is the story of the Ferny Bank House of Rest for Women in Business, a holiday home for working women, founded in 1878, that operated on Babbacombe Downs in the last quarter of the 19th century.

JSBlog topic indexes

For your reading and reference convenience, I've compiled post listings for two of the major topic areas on JSBlog:
I chose them as areas where, over the years, I've produced the articles on historical and topographical subjects that I'm most pleased with. You'll find permanent links in the left-hand sidebar.