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Guide to the John Buck Diary, 1887 August 10-September 25

Abstract

John Buck was an American, most likely a resident of the New York metropolitan area.

The collection consists of a diary in four volumes that chronicles the vacation in Great Britain of a young American named John Buck from August 10 to September 25, 1887. The volumes comprise 249 handwritten pages in total, with commercial prints, menus, receipts, and theater playbills attached to the back of selected pages. The script is elaborate, but legible, and the narrative is remarkably descriptive. Humorous sketches illustrate the first volume in particular and the third volume includes three photographs of the author. The diary provides a detailed account of Buck's voyage on the R.M.S. Britannic and his time in London, where he spent the majority of his vacation socializing and attending the theater. Buck also stayed in Edinburgh, Scotland, with Henry Irving, the famous actor and manager of the Lyceum Theatre, and with the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort at Badminton House.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Buck, John.
Title
John Buck Diary 1887 August 10-September 25
Language of Material
English
Extent
0.5 Linear Feet, 4 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The collection consists of a diary in four volumes that chronicles the vacation in Great Britain of a young American named John Buck from August 10 to September 25, 1887. The volumes comprise 249 handwritten pages in total, with commercial prints, menus, receipts, and theater playbills attached to the back of selected pages. The script is elaborate, but legible, and the narrative is remarkably descriptive. Humorous sketches illustrate the first volume in particular and the third volume includes three photographs of the author.

Buck began his diary, which he entitled "Eight Weeks Vacation and How I spent it," with a detailed account of the people and activities on board the R.M.S. Britannic while on route from New York City to Liverpool, England. Upon landing, he traveled to London, where he spent the majority of his vacation. Although he visited tourist destinations such as London Tower and Winsor Castle, Buck professed little interest in sightseeing and clearly preferred the social life, including attending dinner parties, meeting pretty young women, playing sports such as pool, baseball, and tennis, and above all, attending and discussing the theater. Initially, Buck socialized with an actor he met aboard the Britannic, W. A. Faversham, and the noted basso profundo, Franz Vetta, whom he met in London. From August 30 to September 4, Buck stayed in Edinburgh, Scotland, as the guest of Henry Irving, the famous actor and manager of the Lyceum Theatre. He spent these days in the company of Mr. Irving, Bram Stoker, the actress Ellen Terry, and her son, Teddy Craig. Buck frequently noted Mr. Irving's thoughtfulness and recounted their activities and conversations, including one humorous anecdote about Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. From September 5 to September 9, Buck stayed with the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort at Badminton House. Buck described the house and grounds, formal dinner parties, informal breakfasts, sporting activities, and sightseeing excursions to Gloucester Cathedral and Raglan Castle. The remainder of the vacation was spent in London, much as it began, visiting acquaintances and going to the theater until September 20 when he departed for Liverpool and the return voyage on the Britannic. Buck ceased recording events mid-Atlantic due to his sudden interest in a female passenger.

Administrative Information

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warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Volume 1, August 10-30
Box 1
Volume 2, August 30-September 7
Box 1
Volume 3, September 8-19
Box 1
Volume 4, September 19-25
Box 1

Historical Note

John Buck was an American, most likely a resident of the New York metropolitan area.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John Buck Diary, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The John Buck Diary was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 1985.

Processing Information

Processed by Danielle Moore, July 2010

Encoded by Danielle Moore, July 2010

Accession 2-12-85 is described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.