Book of the Week: Marriage of Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten Royal Navy – List of Wedding Gifts

The Wedding List of The Queen and Prince Philip begins by itemising the gifts given by the Royal Families and then goes on to the General List of Presents.  This General List amounts to 2583 gift givers ranging from ‘The People of Tanganyika: An uncut diamond; the cutting of the stone will be arranged in accordance with The Princess Elizabeth’s wishes’ to ‘Miss Edith Dadson: A pair of hand-made gloves’ to ‘The National Federation of Women’s Institutes: An ecru tablecloth, handworked and embroidered, and a “Woman’s Institute Book”, a handbound volume with a page contributed by each of the 58 County organisations which comprise the National Federation of Women’s Institutes’ to ‘An Anonymous Admirer: A Book of Common Prayer and Hymns, bound morocco tooled with gold’ to Mr Noel Coward: A Georgian silver salver with scalloped corners on scroll feet, and a cornelian and agate seal’ to ‘Miss J Lawrence: A pair of nylon stockings’ to ‘Mr Michael Farr: Twelve bottles of sloe gin’ to ‘No 80 Ukrainian Prisoners of War Camp, Sleaford Lincs: A snapshot album, the lid decorated in traditional Ukrainian style’.  It is quite fascinating to read and, as the marriage took place in 1947, it must be remembered that rationing was still in effect.



Book of the Week: Souvenir Programme for Ellen Terry, Jubilee Commemoration 1856-1906 at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Ellen Terry was an English stage actress who became the leading Shakespearean actress in Britain.  Her career spanned nearly 7 decades and she was painted in costume by many famous artists, some of these portraits are included in this Souvenir Programme.  One of the most famous, which was recently exhibited in the John Singer Sargent Exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery, was his depiction of her as Lady Macbeth in 1889.  The full colour portrait is stunning but the black and white scene included in the Programme is also wonderful.  She continued to find acting success until 1920, while also appearing in films until 1922, dying in 1928 at the age of 81.

Book of the Week: The Water-Colours of J M W Turner

This collection of The Water-Colours of J M W Turner was published by The Studio in 1909.  It contains a wonderful selection of 30 tipped in plates in colour.  A few are shown above: The Archbishop’s Palace in Lambeth, Stonehenge, Scarborough, Lulworth Cove, Barnard Castle and Cowes.  Such a talented painter and the binding of the book does the subject justice.

Book of the Week: Hyde Park and The House of The Grosvenors, A History Thereof

In 1930 Sir Max Pemberton wrote a fascinating history of Hyde Park and the story of Old Grosvenor House with a description of the New Grosvenor House.  Beautifully illustrated by artists of the day, there are also some interesting adverts included, for example Daimler Hire and Morris & Co, purveyors of meat to Grosvenor House.

Book of the Week

We started a new feature, Book of the Week, which had a short holiday in August, but now it is back!  The previous books highlighted were Last Days of Mast and Sail, Migrations and The Three Voyages of Captain Cook. A selection of photos are attached