Anne Lister articles Anne Lister's diary 1828 Anne Lister's diary June 1828

Monday 2 June 1828

Breakfast at 10¾. Sat after breakfast looking at maps & planning our tour. At 1 35 Miss McL- & I set off to walk thro’ the Trosachs to Loch Katrine. Fine wood & rock. Pretty but not tremendous. Got to the boat house at this end of the lake at 2¼. The men cutting peat. Had to wait 25 minutes then off in the boat with 2 rowers at 2 40/60. Another party just off before us going along the lake & then across to Inversnaid to get across Loch Lomond to meet the steam boat at Tarbet. 1 of the boatmen to carry their trunk & bag. Some would give him 5/., some 4/. At 3, after a pretty row, but somehow rather disappointed with the lake, landed on Ellen’s island. Very pretty wooded rocky spot. The views from it towards & upon the Trosachs beautiful. Went to hut hung with skins of deer, wild & tame cats & 1 or 2 foreign skins of reindeer. Rustic heather-covered chairs. Large old table with helmets, axes etc on it. A fine place. Wild & in imitation of an old highland chieftain’s hut. Built after Sir Walter Scott’s ideas[1] by Lord Gwydir[2], to whom the island & much property here belongs, his Lordship having married Miss Drummond, the heiress of Perth, descendant of the dukes of Perth.

Ellen’s Island, Loch Katrine, by Robert S. Duncanson, 1871

20 minutes on the island then rowed on a little farther for more extended view of the lake, but raining pretty smartly from the moment of leaving the island, & the wind high & water roughish so turned back. Much struck with the beauty of the wooded trosachs, “which signify Bristled region,” Scottish Tourist, 71/415. The trosachs must be the [?] little rounded hills that lie along the pass & just into the lake, & seemed much more beautiful as we returned than as we came. In returning Benvenue (right) tho’ striped of its wood some few years ago, & Benan (left) likewise denuded, very fine. Would advise the coming from Loch Lomond all along Loch Catrine to the Trosachs.

Ben Venue from Loch Katrine. Photography by Thrissel

Landed at 4. Walked slowly back & got home at 4¾. Talked to the woman of the house, a widow, Mrs Stuart. Lost her husband ¾ years ago. In tears when speaking of him. He used to say as many came to see Loch Katrine before Sir Walter Scott wrote as after. Lord Gwidir found wood & stone, & her husband built the house at his own expense. Paid £100 a year for the house & farm. Dinner at 5¾. Afterwards talking all the evening downstairs and in my room of M- and my attachment to her, how it came on etc. She asked me if she should accept C-. After a night’s consideration I had said yes. She (M-) asked if it came from my heart. I said no, not from my heart but from my head. Her sister and Emma Strickland bridesmaids, & I at the wedding & with her the first six months. Told really how C- and I quarrelled about his gaieties then made it up, then he got hold of my letter & lastly how we made it up & that I had made M- go back to him. Miss MacLean sorry for M-, thinks she likes me better than her husband. Came to my room at 10 20/60. Miss McL- sat with me there till 11 55/60. Rainy day with two or 3 short gleams, that is while we walked to the lake, while on Ellen’s Island & partly in walking home again.

Illustration for Scott’s Lady of the Lake by Alexander Johnston, 1849

[1] Sir Walter Scott’s poem ‘The Lady of The Lake,’ first published in 1810, was largely set on Ellen’s Isle. Anne’s was clearly familiar with this work. The poem is set in the 16th century and tells the story of Ellen Douglas who lives with her family on the island and is wooed by three romantic rivals.

[2] Peter Robert Burrell, Lord Gwydyr and Lord Willoughby of Eresby, known as a dandy.

You can read the original diary entry here: https://www.catalogue.wyjs.org.uk/CalmView/GetImage.ashx?db=Catalog&type=default&fname=ae%5c462373-0498-4a80-8db4-047c2b729147.jpg

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