Mary Gladstone (Mrs. Drew), Her Diaries and Letters

Mary Gladstone (Mrs. Drew), Her Diaries and Letters

Mary Gladstone (Mrs. Drew), Her Diaries and Letters

Mary Gladstone (Mrs. Drew), Her Diaries and Letters

Excerpt

The diaries of Mary Gladstone, afterwards Mary Drew, are contained in twelve leather-covered volumes. They were merely notebooks, not regular diary-books, and one volume contained the record of more than one year. It is noticeable, as a curious piece of superstition, that the volumes after the 1875 one, which contained the death of Mary Lyttelton, were much slimmer, as if she hoped to elude misfortune by not seeing too far ahead.

The narrative is practically continuous from 1870 to 1886, the year of her marriage. After that event the entries are scantier and fewer, and incidents that would have been regarded as worthy of a page are dismissed in a sentence. Obviously the diary had acted as an outlet, and now her husband received the comments and descriptions she had previously written down. There is finally a gap of seven years, and the diary begins again in 1911, after his death.

There is in existence a series of typescript volumes of extracts prepared for publication by Mary herself from the diaries. The entries were, however, considerably 'edited' and much of the raciness and individuality taken from them. They have therefore been disregarded, except as evidence of an intention to publish, wherever the original MS. exists. In one or two earlier volumes the original is lost and quota-

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