Victorian

Parsnips

La ponais, Guernsey's favourite crop (you thought it was the tomato, didn't you!) From Bellamy's Guide to Guernsey, 1843, pp. 130 ff.; the woodcuts in this charming volume are by Thomas Bellamy himself; and Duncan's famous The history of Guernsey: with occasional notices of Jersey, Alderney, and Sark, and biographical sketches, 1841. Frank Dally, in 1860, claimed that 'before the potato disease of 1845 the potato [as opposed to the parsnip] was the staple root of tillage, particularly in Guernsey, since which time it has very much declined.'

The Chaumontel pears of Guernsey and Jersey

'There is a pear which is peculiar to these islands, the Chaumontel, which grows to an extraordinary size, and sells very frequently for a shilling each for exportation.' From Cochrane's Guide to the Island of Guernsey, 1826. 'Guernsey supplies to London, besides granite pavement and chaumontelle pears, megalithic theories and watercolour paintings.' The Channel Islands Magazine, May, 1853. The watercolour is from Alphonse Mas' Le verger (The kitchen garden),  1865. 

Cachemaille's Descriptive sketch of the island of Sark: The School for Girls

The generosity of the Seigneur of Sark, Peter Le Pelley, from one of the two books about the island written by his great friend, the Reverend J L V Cachemaille, for many years the vicar of Sark. In 1860, the diary of the former 17th-century Sark minister, Elie Brėvint, was found in a loft in Sark. Cachemaille was inspired by this to investigate the archives of the Seigneurie and to write a series of articles based upon what he found, which were translated by Louisa Harvey and published in the Guernsey Magazine. From this was published the Descriptive Sketch, published by Frederick Clarke, and then republished in 1928. See Ewen & De Carteret, The Fief of Sark, The Guernsey Press, 1969. The illustrations are from the Library Collection, the drawing showing the Seigneurie in Sark in Le Pelley's time.

Cachemaille's The island of Sark: The Gouliot Caves

An extract from the Reverend James Cachemaille's fascinating guide to his adopted home, translated from the French by Louisa Harvey. How his friend the Seigneur discovered the Gouliot Caves, once a famous tourist destination, and a description of their 'Chimney' souffleur in a gale. The photograph of the caves is part of the Priaulx Library Collection and dates from 1900.

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