Anne Lister diary transcriptions Anne Lister's diary 1828 Anne Lister's diary May 1828

Tuesday 27 May 1828

Rather a bowel complaint before and once after breakfast. Breakfast at 11. Colonel Thackeray came about. Miss McL- & I went with him to Lady Elizabeth in Princes Street gardens. Then went to see the (doric) antique museum containing small insignificant new collection of antiques. The great main room of the building being for a picture exhibition room but now containing many a terrible copy of Raphael’s Transfiguration, admittance to see which 1/. each. The building with its doric peristyle handsome without. Disappointed within. Lady Elizabeth evidently tired. Colonel T- went home with her & Miss McL- & I returned home to wait for the Colonel. Got home before 2. Waited till after 3, then the day so thick (east wind again) useless to go out again so Colonel T- sat a while & then took his leave. At [this] Miss McL- & I went out shopping. Bought & addressed to be sent to the baby 20 months old (Miss Thackeray, 35 Melville Street, with Miss Lister’s “love”) a doll & arm-chair for her to sit in. Got home at 5¾. Dinner at 6. Tea at 9. Before & afterwards till 12¾ wrote out Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, yesterday & today. While waiting for Colonel T- talked sentiment. Before and just after dinner talked more arrant nonsense than ever and more lightly. Miss MacL- said it was nonsense indeed and I promised to amend. ‘Tis time, for I have astonished her enough, she thinks me very odd. Perhaps I have insinuated too strongly M-’s living with me, but after all Miss MacL-’s old maidishness bears it all very well. Fair & finish day but thick & east wind. While we were out shopping Mrs Campbell, 135 Grosvenor Street called on Miss McL- & myself (aunt to Miss Riddall). Miss Augusta McK- said yesterday she had called upon us at Redford but arrived just after we were gone.

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4 thoughts on “Tuesday 27 May 1828

  1. Thank you for the link to the Scottish Tourist, I shall spend a bit of time on that. Later in the year I’m keen to create my own physical map of where AL went and when (and with whom). UK first, then possibly Europe! My mind keeps mulling over what many have already asked “why did she travel so much”. Plenty theories on this out there, but for myself I feel plotting this on a map may help me understand just a little. Certainly once she headed off the tourist trail in Europe, she really did push the boundaries of adventurer, as did Ann Walker in her company. Thank you too for the interesting quote of the waterfall. Possibly, like many people (even today), Nature is a broad field unrelated to identification. Certainly Cath Euler mentioned that “Works of travel and natural history also fascinated her” pp126 Moving Between World’s 1995 – but then the narrative heads back to sexual discovery without references. I shall keep digging.

    1. I would love to see your map when you create it. I have it on my list to create on for the Scottish tour, but don’t know when I’ll get round to it.

  2. Thank you for the regular updates on AL’s Scottish tour. There is often a pattern in Anne’s relationships, her unbridled enthusiasm for stability seems at odds over time with those close to her. I’ve recently read Kirsty chugh’s ‘Sightseeing, social climbing, steamboats and sex: Anne Lister’s 1828 tour of Scotland’ article published in June. In the context of ‘genteel traveling’ and following known travel guides of the time, is this maelstrom of detail, own discovery and emotional insight by AL. The more the layers are peeled away from AL’s diaries, the more layers remain un-opened. There is one thing however that fascinates me – the relative lack of natural history observation; weather, time, landscape and geographic points of interest are written about, yet I’ve discovered few references to fauna and flora in her writing. Which intrigues me. True the wealth of Victorian naturalists were 50 years in the future, but simple observations in AL’s works are largely missing. Too mundane to notice for this enthralling adventurer? I shall ponder on that thought while awaiting day 10.

    1. I managed to find a copy of ‘Scottish Tourist,’ the book Anne references in her journal, online here:
      You’re right about the flora and fauna. I wonder if, whilst focussed on waxing lyrical about the majesty of the landscape (perhaps practising for becoming a published travel writer), rabbits, thistles etc seemed a bit beneath her. What about this description of a waterfall: ‘Nature seems undisturbed by the propinquity of art. The hand of man has not intruded,’?!

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