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Guide to the Blanche Simmons Diary, 1879-1880

Abstract

Blanche Simmons (1857/8-1941) was the daughter of Sir John Lintorn Arabin Simmons (1821-1903), Field Marshal and Colonel Commandant of the Royal Engineers, and his second wife, Blanche Weston.

The collection consists of a single diary that records the events of two distinct trips taken by Blanche Simmons and her parents in 1879 and 1880. The first half of the diary documents a family vacation to Belgium and the Netherlands from September 19th to October 13th, 1879, with stops in Brussels, Spa, Utrecht, Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Ghent. The second half of the diary documents a trip to Berlin, Germany, from June 11th to July 9th, 1880, during which Blanche's father, Sir John Simmons, and Major Ardagh attended a conference in Berlin for "the settling of the Greek frontier" accompanied by Blanche, her mother, and their escort, Captain Wood.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Simmons, Blanche, 1857?-1941.
Title
Blanche Simmons Diary 1879-1880
Language of Material
English
Extent
0.2 Linear Feet, 1 Item
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The collection consists of a single diary that records the events of two distinct trips taken by Blanche Simmons and her parents in 1879 and 1880. The first half of the diary documents a family vacation to Belgium and the Netherlands from September 19th to October 13th, 1879, with stops in Brussels, Spa, Utrecht, Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Ghent. The diary describes the sights and the family's activities in these cities, in smaller towns, and on nature walks. Art museums and churches, as well as the headdresses and clothing worn by local women are described in particular detail. Many commercial albumen prints on card stock and dried plant specimens are affixed to the diary pages, and the entry for Friday the 3rd includes a humorous, rhyming poem relating events of the first half of the trip.

The second half of the diary documents a trip to Berlin, Germany, from June 11th to July 9th, 1880, during which Blanche's father, Sir John Simmons, and Major Ardagh attended a conference in Berlin for "the settling of the Greek frontier" accompanied by Blanche, her mother, and their escort, Captain Wood. As in the earlier vacation, commentary chiefly centers on sightseeing with an emphasis on museums, but also relates details of the conference, as recounted to Blanche, and describes several formal functions attended by her party, including receptions at the British Embassy and a small dinner gathering at the New Palace in Potsdam with Crown Prince Friedrick, Crown Princess Victoria of Great Britain, Prince Wilhelm, and Princesses Victoria-Augusta and Caroline of Schleswig-Holstein. Sights in Cologne, Dresden, and Aachen are also described, and the diary concludes with two humorous "Odes," one commemorating the events of the trip and the other, a twenty-three stanza piece written by Major Ardagh, on the Conference of Berlin.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

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

Historical Note

Blanche Simmons (1857/8-1941) was the daughter of Sir John Lintorn Arabin Simmons (1821-1903), Field Marshal and Colonel Commandant of the Royal Engineers, and his second wife, Blanche Weston. She married Charles Edward Orman (1859/60-1927), a captain and later a major in the 1st Essex regiment, and was the mother of Rotha Lintorn-Orman (1895-1935), a pioneer for women in British politics and founder of the earliest British Fascist movement.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

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

Provenance

The Blanche Simmons Diary were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 1997.

Processing Information

Processed by Danielle Moore, July 2010

Encoded by Danielle Moore, July 2010

Accession 1997-0022 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.