Letters & Diaries

Matthew De Sausmarez

Amongst several of the De Sausmarez family to bear this name, the Matthew De Sausmarez who lived in the island in the late 18th century is one of the best known. Amongst his titles was Châtelain of the Castle at Jerbourg, and it was he who built the Sausmarez Tower there, the only defensive tower of that era not following a military plan. It is unlikely that he did it out of altruism. J. Chepmell, in the MS Memoirs held at the Library, has some very unflattering things to say about him.

Julia de Lacy Mann

A brief introduction to the life of the scholar Julia de Lacy Mann, an Oxford economist and promoter of women's education, who was one of the last descendants of Margaret and Gother Mann. Without her work on her family letters Guernsey social historians would be very much the poorer. The arresting portrait of her shown here, attributed to Peter Greenham, is in St Hilda's College, Oxford, and is displayed here by kind permission of the College.

What Sarah Fyers saw from a window in Gibraltar

17-year old Sarah Fyers was with her father with the garrison in Gibraltar in 1801, a few days before her wedding to Cornelius Mann, when she witnessed the first part of the Battle of Algeciras from the breakfast room. A handwritten copy of her eyewitness account is in the Dobree-Mann collection held at the Library. She was a close relation by marriage of Admiral James Saumarez, who played a crucial part in the battle and eventual victory.

A Library Christmas selection box

Guernsey Christmas—published and unpublished excerpts from the Library's collection. The illustration is Victor Hugo's own frontispiece to his Guernsey novel, Toilers of the Sea, the story of which begins at Christmas; like much of Hugo's artistic output, the picture is somewhat gloomy, but the rocks, so important in the book, are nevertheless covered with holly. The print is from a rare edition of the illustrations in the Library's collection.

The Letters of Margaret Mann, ed. Danielle Delon

A fascinating collection of letters from Trinidad with strong Guernsey connections, that complement an important set of letters held in the Priaulx Library. The main families mentioned in the letters of local interest are: Baynes; Brock; Carey; Dalgairns; Darby; Davis; De Havilland; De Jersey; Dobree; Douglas; Durand; Edwards; Fitton; Freeman; Hardy; Hawtrey; Hayes; Hewer; Hutchesson; Kennedy; Lacy: Le Mesurier; Lenfestey; Le Maitre; Le Page; Le Sueur; Maingay; Mann; Mansell; McCrea; O'Brien; Powell; Powys; Priaulx; Routh; Saumarez; Selwyn; Tupper; Valpy; Wheeler (Anna Doyle); Whitchurch.'My dear Fanny, if you contemplate the bare possibility of marrying a soldier, take my advice and count the cost.'

Letters and fashion plates from the time of Jane Austen

Some fascinating letters from a young Caroline Guille Le Marchant to her friends in Bath and London, from Edith Carey's Scrapbook, and some contemporary winter ladies costumes for Christmas, from two bound volumes of fashion-plates, entitled in French Figures. The plates are hand-coloured; some are from The Fashions of London and Paris, a monthly magazine that began publication in 1798, published by Richard Phillips.

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