When I was a little girl, visiting my grandparents’ cottage in Warwickshire, one of my greatest pleasures was walking around the kitchen reading about the adventures of Mr Carlyon across four illustrated magazine pages from 1881, which were hung on the walls.
Mr Carlyon was a Regency gentleman who journeyed from London to Shropshire to spend Christmas at a house party. It takes him three, perhaps four days to make the journey, beset by various perils, before he arrives at his destination…
The original story, purportedly illustrated by Mr Carlyon’s grandson from extracts from his diary, ran in an illustrated paper of 1881, and is just as amusing one hundred and forty years later. And for lovers of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer it is, frankly, absolute bliss to see the costumes, carriages and characters of the period drawn with such verve and veracity.
Today you can read the first two pages on LLG, & I’ll run the third and final part tomorrow.
21st DEC. — Invitation from Squire Wood to spend Christmas at Marley Hall. Sent for hackney coach and started at once.
Found a seat on the Red Chester coach.
23rd DEC. — Delayed by deep snow on roads in Shropshire. Had to push behind. At Dodington Side-Bar met by old family servant with gig. Little way up lane stopped by two highwaymen.
Overthrew the highwaymen, captured them, and dragged them before a neighbouring justice of the peace.
Arrived at Marley Hall late. Hearty welcome from Squire. Noticed that one of the guests, who seems a sort of country buck, took an instant aversion to me. Overheard him say that he hates town fops.
25th DEC — Heard a ghost. Found it to be old Mr Portisdown ogling the family portraits.
TO BE CONTINUED!