Monday, February 13, 2006

22Dec1855, An Enchanting House

ST. LEONARD'S, December 22nd, 1855.
—We have an enchanting house, into which we are packed delightfully tight, as follows. Little front room on the ground floor, choked up with table, sofa, and arm-chair, hardly room to turn : schoolroom (for the studies of M., Georgy,(Her fourth brother, after wards always known as Spencer) Winny, and me, with Mademoiselle's more than portly person presiding). Opening from this (but the door between is blocked up), Mademoiselle's room, bigger than the first, but somewhat gloomy, looking into the high cliff. These two open into the hall about a man's stride wide, on the other side of which are, opposite the school-room, and very little bigger, the dining-room ; next to it Papa's study and dressing-room in one, not too big either. Up rather a narrow and steepish staircase, you arrive at the second floor. Here are the two drawing-rooms, of moderate size, front and back, opening into each other, folding doors. The back room is to be used by Johnnie for his reading. Next to the front rooms is a splendid apartment, probably destined for a sort of boudoir, small of course, but devoted to Meriel, Winny, and me, for bedroom. Win on a sofa against the wall, and M. and I in a bed together. The worst of this room is, that there is nothing wherein, and little whereon, to put anything. Next to this, Mrs. Talbot's room. On the third floor are Baby's and Newmany's slip of a bedroom, next to that a small apartment containing Amelia's bed, and answering the purpose of sitting, washing, and day's noise nursery. Next to it is Papa's and Mamma's room (who by the bye came on the 20th following us), and next to them a bedroom for two maids. On the top floor is a room where some three or four maids sleep, a sleeping-nursery, containing Harriet and Bobby in one bed, May and Arthur in another, a little hole of a room ; Mr. Hook's sleeping-apartment, " sans " fireplace, and Johnnie's bed-chamber. The tight fit is great fun. So are the beds, which are perfectly unparalleled for hardness.

Image from "Victorian Girls - Lord Lyttleton's Daughters", Sheila Fletcher, Hambledon and London, 1997, p. 40-41.

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