More exceptionally interesting 17th-century observations from Elie Brevint. Brevint (1587-1674) was minister of Sark from 1612. His father Cosmé, also a minister, was a Huguenot refugee from Angoulême who had accompanied Helier De Carteret from Jersey in his colonisation of Sark. Transcriptions and microfilm of Elie's 14 Notebooks, which were found in a loft in Sark in the 19th century, are held in the Priaulx Library. They are written in French. The picture above is a detail from Boethius, In philosophia consolationem, Strasbourg 1501, one of the rare books in the Library’s collection.
As always, we have received some exceptional material this year from very kind and generous donors. Above: the Guernsey Arms circular-headed window from Jane Mahy's report on the stained-glass windows of Grange House, one of this year's donations.
Observations and reminiscences from author Theodora Teeling, from The Star, May 4, 1880. Mrs. Bartle Teeling (née Theodora Louisa Lane Clarke) was born in Guernsey in 1851, the only child of the Rev. Thomas Clarke, Rector of Woodeaton, Oxford, and Louisa Lane, scientist and author of topographical and historical works on the Channel Islands, including contributions to MacCulloch's Guernsey Folk Lore. Theodora 'spent her childhood in Woodeaton, Oxford, where her father was rector. On his death his widow returned with their only child to Guernsey,' in 1865. They lived at L'Hyvreuse Lodge in St Peter Port. In Guernsey her mother Louisa 'became a centre of literary and scientific interest and mental activity as student and writer of natural history, etc., and author of several scientific manuals.'¹ In 1879 Theodora married Bartle Teeling (1848-1921), Captain in the Rifle Brigade, Secretary (1872) of the Catholic Union of Ireland, and Private Chamberlain to the Pope. She died in 1906. Theodora dates her reminiscences to 1867 ('12 years since'), when she would have been aged 16, and to 1878, only two years before she wrote this piece. She would have been 27 years old. The first scene, however, if she has not conflated two Christmases, must date to 1864 or before, as she includes Hugo’s son, François-Victor, in it: or it was indeed 1867, and she has misidentified the men she saw; or she has embellished the truth a little.
Part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project.
Guernsey ghost: weird tale of a haunted house. From the Daily Express, March 31, 1903. Starring local eccentric and humanitarian, Victor Hugo's bookbinder, Harry Turner.
From Guernsey Life, June 1967, in the Library. 'Looking at Life,' by Michael Geraghty, concerning amongst other things an application for the transfer of a licence to run this well-known wine-bar and public house. The advertisment is from a 1934 tourist brochure in the Library collection.
La maison visionnée of The Toilers of the sea, and one of Hugo's favourite places to visit. Although only a few stones remain in situ, the lintel from the house is now in the Candie Museum.
Snippets of the poet's life in Guernsey. This is part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project.
The obituary of a learned and popular priest, who had spent 50 years in Guernsey. From The Guernsey Press, 16th December 1954. Anslem Bourde de la Rogerie was an erudite man who wrote learned articles on the history of the island. He gathered together invaluable information about Victor Hugo and the time he spent in Guernsey and published it in 1944 as Victor Hugo à Guernesey.
Part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project. The portrait of Edgar MacCulloch is courtesy of Candie Museum, Guernsey.
One of Victor Hugo's favourite places to visit. Although with its rocky landscape combined with wild flowers and grassy swards, it is one of the places in Guernsey that would probably most appeal to the Romantic sensibility, one can't help speculating that the name of the place, 'Le Gouffre,' went some way towards Hugo's partiality: it was one of his favourite words, found many times in his poetry and prose. Part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project. The illustration, by François Chifflart, is 'Le port au quatrième étage,' a nickname coined by Hugo and not otherwise used, from the 1869 edition of Les Travailleurs de la mer. The tiny figures of the fishermen and their families hauling up the boat can just be made out.
The enfant terrible of the Administration who battled for what he considered just and right continuously, and a friend of Victor Hugo. This biography forms part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project.