Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Look Back in Time

I mentioned in my post on Castleton that I had been tempted by a book in the bookshop there. I have been dipping into it since I bought it and thought I would share one of the entries with you.

The book is 'A Country Woman's Journal' by Margaret Shaw. The journal, hidden in a drawer for over seventy years, is full of drawings and comments for the years of 1926 to 1928. Here is Margaret's entry for November 13th 1927:-

'It snowed for sometime in the morning, but such wet snow that it did not lie at all. While I was planting bulbs in the afternoon a fat Robin came and sat with me, perching on the bulb bags, and hopping about the newly turned earth. One moment I saw him with a worm quite two inches long, the next instant it had gone completely! He then sat in the Holly Tree and sang to me.'

I've decided that I'm going to read through the entries at the same time of the year, as each page is full of interesting comments and illustrations. Here is the page for last week....

When she was 15 Margaret's family moved the thirty miles from Beaulieu to Selbourne, in the same county of Hampshire. Her family bought The Wakes the house where the famous naturalist the Rev. Gilbert White had lived and worked. His work and the house had a profound influence on her and her love of nature and the countryside grew.

The book is a facsimile of her diaries so they haven't been enhanced or altered in anyway - they are just as she left them hidden in the drawer.


  1. How absolutely fascinating - I visited The Wakes earlier this year without having any idea that this nature diary existed. I think I must get a copy of it.

  2. Thanks for your permission to print off the article. I will check out the website - thank you - I love your little book -what a find.

  3. HI I am stupid! I answered the wrong person about the permission thing!! Doooh!
    Still love your book!

  4. What a wonderful book and I know the lovely bookshop you bought it from, what a treasure trove it is. I'm so taken with this journal that I've just treated myself to a copy from Amazon. Thanks for sharing, it looks fascinating and I too shall enjoy reading the entries season by season.

  5. Hello there thank you for the lovely comment. I am the only person I know that clothed her kids in clothkits. My son Adam had the lovely all in one toddler suits that they brought out just as he was toddling- the quality was fantastic and my daughter had lots of the dresses - thank you for reminding me about them. One of our teddies (safely packed away) still wears a tiny primary coloured stripe t-shirt - they were yummy. I wonder if they evolved into another business?? They were still around when my children grew out of the styles and didnt want what Mum wanted them to wear or they would have gone to work in them!!!