Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Among my treasured books...Perlycross, A Tale of the Western Hills.

One of my goals this year was to continue recording information about the treasured 'old books' I have in my collections. Most of these I've had and loved forever. I was always the reader in the family, so these were mine, even though some weren't really to my taste.

Here's a brief look at one that belonged to my grandmother, Sarah Frances Saggers. I think she must have loved most of the books she brought to Canada, after all she carried them all the way here from her previous home in England - or perhaps she brought them to remember the people who gave them to her. That may have been the case with this one.

 Perlycross, A Tale of the Western Hills by R. D. Blackmore, (London: Sampson Low, Marston, & Company Limited, 1896).

R. D. (Richard Doddridge) Blackmore is much better known as the author of Lorna Doone which I certainly remember reading as a girl, but I do recall Perlycross too. Lots of longwinded dialogue, often fascinating in its own way. The Victorian Web gives a a nice look at R. D. Blackmore. I see now that he was a lawyer, which explains some things, I suppose. He had a wry turn of phrase, I thought, for example, about some English people's unease  (or distrust) of foreigners. As a more modern colonial, I thought this funny, since it would likely apply to me. Wonder what grandma thought?

I'm more interested now in the inscription though - Sarah Saggers from Lettice (or perhaps Leltice) Digby Christmas 1897. There is more than one Lettice Digby though in England in the same time frame; none stand out as likely friends or acquaintances of grandma. Should anyone recognize the name or signature, I'd be excited to hear more.

And here's a photo of my grandma, Sarah Saggers, taken by F. W. Wood of Elliott & Fry, in London, England. I doubt that she was often this pensive (or studious either).


Kinnextions said...

Hi Diane --

Lettice can be a nickname for Leticia. Coincidentally, among my family heirlooms is a treasured copy of "Lorna Doone" which was my grandmother's!

Celia Lewis said...

Hmmm, I read a lot too, but don't remember finding Perlycross - I may have to read it now! Hope you find your Lettice (I have a few in collateral lines from England, no Digby's in my lines however).
Love the photograph of pensive relative!

Anonymous said...

How nice to have books that belonged to family members, and with an inscription! I spend quite a bit of time in second hand bookshops, Diane. I was at school with a "Lettice" and that's the only time I have come across the name. Jo :-)