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Kilvert's Diary

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Yet I see no one until I crest the hill and reach the edge of the Begwyns. Stretching over 1,200 acres, this glorious upland moor is a favourite with local dog walkers and horse riders. Several cars are parked at the cattle-grid entrance; their owners dot the cloudless skyline. On the road out of the village lies the Baskerville Court Hotel. Formerly known as Clyro Court, this baronial-style house, with its impressive ceremonial staircase, was built by the local Baskerville squire and was the scene of the croquet and archery parties attended by Kilvert. Plomer, William (1947). Kilvert's Diary 1870-1879 - Selections from the Diary of the Rev. Francis Kilvert. New York: MacMillan.

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The notebooks were then returned to Essex Hope. Plomer called to see her some time in 1954 and she told him that she had to go into a home and leave her house. She had therefore cleared out a lot of papers and had destroyed the notebooks as they contained private family matters. He recalled he could have strangled her with his bare hands. But she later produced one of the notebooks and gave it to him. It was the Cornish Holiday. St Michael’s, the 12th-century church, extensively rebuilt in the 1850s, is much as it was in Kilvert’s time. Whenever I sit in the churchyard, with its avenue of yew trees leading to the lychgate, I think of that wonderful moment in the diary on Easter Eve: the graves, decorated with flowers, are described as looking like people asleep in the moonlight, ‘ready to rise early on Easter Morning.’Plomer had had the commercial good sense to publish an abridged version of the diary, and the imposition of wartime paper restrictions made it unlikely in any case that the complete text could be published in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, Plomer had hopes that one day Kilvert's Diary might appear in its entirety. To his everlasting regret, though, he allowed the typescript of the full diary to go missing. Initially, this was not a matter of great concern. The original notebooks still existed, and a new text might be prepared from them. However, in 1958, Plomer learned from Essex Hope, to whom the originals had passed on the death of Perceval Smith, that she "had done away with most of the Diary". "I did not scold Mrs Hope," Plomer wrote at the time, but he admitted later that he felt like strangling her with his own hands. In his diary entry for 2 January 1878, Kilvert records a visit from his parents. His father, the Reverend Robert Kilvert, rector of Langley Burrell (Wiltshire) and a keen antiquary, ‘especially admired the old Norman 12th- or 13th-century work in the Church and more particularly… the carving over the Devil’s Door’ (the north door, shown here). A mile or so out of Clyro, I reach Lower Lloyney farm, a solid square-jawed place with a muddy yard. The workhorse building reminds me that this is hill farming country, as short on luxury as it is rich in weather. Neighbouring Herefordshire, with its rich fertile plains, is awash with grand farmhouses. Not so here. People build as they live: simply, without frills.

The ultimate guide to country life - The Oldie The ultimate guide to country life - The Oldie

In August 1879 he married Elizabeth Ann Rowland (1846–1911), whom he had met on a visit to Paris, but he died from peritonitis on 23 September, aged 38, a few days after returning from his honeymoon in Scotland. He was buried at Bredwardine.From the Roundabout, I head north downhill, leaving the Begwyns behind in favour of lusher ground below. At Pentre farm, I cut across two hedge-lined fields to Bachawy brook. I find no evidence of the ford marked on the map, so make do with a hop, skip and jump. On 3 March 1878, Kilvert wrote lyrically of the view through the south porch: ‘the fresh sweet sunny air was full of the singing of the birds and the brightness and gladness of the spring. Some of the graves were as white as snow with snowdrops… the whole air was melodious with the distant indefinite sound of sweet bells.’ Kilvert's hopes that his personal record might be made public may have been distant - he was disappointed in his lifetime by his failure to publish his somewhat conventional poetry - but he harboured them all the same. He showed passages from the diary to his Oxford friend Anthony Lawson Mayhew, and perhaps, additionally, to his future wife, Elizabeth Rowland, and observed that the diary might interest and amuse "some who come after me".

Kilverts Diaries by Kilvert - AbeBooks Kilverts Diaries by Kilvert - AbeBooks

The Reverend Francis Kilvert (1840-1879), whose steps I am following, knew the value of a contemplative rest. Reading his diary entry for February 1870, I imagine him gazing at this very view: “Beautiful Clyro rising from the valley ... dotted with white houses and shining with gleams of green on hills and dingle sides.” Kilvert was born on 3 December 1840 at The Rectory, Hardenhuish Lane, near Chippenham, Wiltshire, to the Rev. Robert Kilvert, rector of Langley Burrell, Wiltshire, and Thermuthis, daughter of Walter Coleman and Thermuthis Ashe. After a century and a half, there is still no better guide to this stunning corner of the Welsh Marches than Clyro’s erstwhile curate. Just this once, however, I ignore his lead in favour of a refreshing pint.Bennett, Alan (2007). The Uncommon Reader. London: Faber and Faber and Profile Books. ISBN 978-1-84668-049-6. Of all noxious animals,’ Kilvert continues, ‘…the most noxious is a tourist. And of all tourists the most vulgar, ill-bred, offensive and loathsome is the British tourist.’

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