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.