Saturday, October 27, 2007

Climbing trees - still waiting

I wrote here about the research I had been doing into my husband's forbears, and how it had taken such a hold on my imagination. I am still waiting to hear from the Kendal Records Office, whether they have been able to validate my research findings. They told me it would be 12 weeks before their archivist would get round to my request, but that time is now up.

I have been in some sort of suspended animation while I waited; now I am moving into a mood of fidgeting impatience, so great has been my investment of time and interest in this project. There are family members, both old and newly discovered, with whom I shall share the information, but I do not feel I should say a word until I am sure of my ground. Meanwhile I am playing around with it all, creating documents, planning bits of writing, scanning old pictures - knowing that much of it may fall apart if I haven't got things right.

These are my husband's great grandparents on his mother's side, in 1853. We have just inherited them in splendid heavy gold frames. I think they are pencil portraits though they look like photographs. I suppose they could have been photos at that date. If you click on them to enlarge you can see for yourself. The man (who was a surgeon) has a frown between his eyes which makes him human, while the woman looks quite unreal to me. Get that waist - get those shoulders - get that mouth; all idealised, would you say? But the man's mouth is a bit dimply-pouty too, and enlargement reveals that his lips have been tinted red, though his wife's portrait does not appear to have had that advantage.

1 comment:

Avus said...

It is a whole mare's nest (whatever that may be!) when you get started on all this, Judith. Great that you have such old portraits - I cannot get pictures before my great grandfather (but then both sides came from the "lower classes" who would not have had these pictorial records)