The Grove Diaries: The Rise and Fall of an English Family 1809-1925

Hawkins

Published by Univ of Delaware Pr, 1995
ISBN 10: 0874136008 / ISBN 13: 9780874136005
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Synopsis: The publication of the diaries of successive generations of the Grove family is of considerable importance. Spanning more than a century, from 1809 to 1925, and described by one scholar as 'like a Jane Austen novel, but for real', they chart the rise of a Wiltshire/Dorset border family from county gentry to aristocratic Victorian grandees, before finally tracing the much steeper trajectory of the family's decline.
The Grove family home was Ferne House, near Shaftesbury. And it is at Ferne in 1809 that the eighteen-year-old Harriet Grove began this remarkable series of diaries. But Harriet was no ordinary diarist, for her later attempts to scratch out references to 'my dear Bysshe' testify to her affair with her cousin, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, with whom she was then deeply in love.
In 1811 the diary of her older sister Charlotte takes up the narrative. Charlotte's entire life was spent within walking distance of Ferne. Gossip adds spice to a rural world that is as measured and unchanging as the parson's wife she became. The third diarist, her nephew Thomas, was cast in a very different mould. Captain of dragoons, baronet, member of parliament, master of Ferne, Thomas effortlessly absorbed the delusions of grandeur of the Victorian heyday. His diaries span the years 1855 to 1897, ultimately recording the collapse of British agriculture and a financial crisis that brought the family to the brink of ruin.
The diaries of his daughter-in-law, Agnes, which run from 1882 to 1925, bear the imprint of the Whig aristocracy. Born a daughter of General Pitt-Rivers and cousin of Bertrand Russell, noted for her wit and beauty, Agnes Grove's passionately held beliefs in women's rights and her long friendship with Thomas Hardy give her diaries a resonance that brings her gloriously to life.

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Title: The Grove Diaries: The Rise and Fall of an ...
Publisher: Univ of Delaware Pr
Publication Date: 1995
Book Condition: Fair

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Editor-Desmond Hawkins
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ISBN 10: 0874136008 ISBN 13: 9780874136005
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