Following the publication of Relics of War, I was approached by Joan Wright, from Belford. Joan had a copy of a diary that had been written in 1804/5 by a young lady who lived near Belford. She had written articles about this and had made numerous presentations to local history groups in North Northumberland and the Borders. Joan asked me whether we would be able to work together to get the diary published. I read the draft of the book I was immediately charmed by it.
Eleanor Weatherly was the feisty 20 year old daughter of a widowed gentleman farmer, living with her brothers and sister near Belford in the north of Northumberland.
Her diary was written in 1804 and 1805 against a background of the Napoleonic Wars. In common with many 20 year olds, she liked fashion, dancing and the company of young men. Nevertheless, her diary gives a fascinating and often entertaining glimpse of life at the time. She ranges from household matters, family disputes and the weather – to the much wider social scene, stretching from Alnwick to the Scottish Borders. Not surprisingly it touches briefly on the alarm of a French invasion and the battle of Trafalgar.
As well as a transcript of the diaries themselves, Joan has included chapters with her research into life in North Northumberland and the various families and individuals who are mentioned.
The book is available from Belford Museum