Victorian

My little brothers: Christmas with Victor Hugo, 1862

From the Gazette de Guernesey, Saturday 27 December, a report on Hugo's Christmas party for deprived children; a letter from Hugo to his wife, whose idea it all was in the first place; and another to the French publisher Castel, in which he plans to donate the proceeds of a new book of drawings to his poor Guernsey protégés. The editor of the Gazette at this time was Hugo's friend and disciple, Guernseyman Henri Marquand. The photograph accompanying this article is dated 1868. It was taken in March by Arsène Garnier. (Another very similar set of photographs was taken by a Jerseyman named Henry Frankland in February 1868; the Library has a photographic plate of one of these iconic images.) This particular photograph was popular with the public at the time; they could buy it in the local shops.

Mrs William Sharshaw

A brief obituary of a pioneering woman, from The Monthly Illustrated Journal (the Guernsey Magazine), February 1889. Mary Esther Sharshaw, born in October 1821, daughter of Henry Cumber and Mary Gallienne, was a pharmacist. The obituary does not mention that she came from two families of prominent Quakers. The two photographs of Mary, which are reproduced courtesy of their owner, both show her with a book. In the lower picture she is sporting a fine calabash, a typical Guernsey ladies' hat; the photograph is by her sister, the Guernsey photographer Sarah Louise Cumber.

A peep into the past: the East Coast, 1926

By D De La Rue, from the Guernsey Free Churchman, December, 1926, pp. 82-3. 'A few months ago the Editor was conversing with one of the octogenarians of our town and island, on the White Rock. The conversation revolved around the many changes that had taken place in the Harbour and its surroundings.' The illustration is taken from a local novel in the Library's collection, Mrs Carey Brock's moral but entertaining tale, Clear shining after rain, published in 1871.

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