‘Our wanderings in Wales. By a mountain [goat].’

[England?, 1867].

Manuscript on paper, in English, small 4to (23.5 x 19.5 cm), ff. [32] + blanks, on thick paper, most leaves with tissue guards to rectos; illustrated with 5 elegant pen drawings and 1 photograph (showing coastline); neatly written in a single hand in brown, red, blue and green ink; title and several other pages elaborately decorated in colour and gilt, title with border featuring a peacock, first page of text with initial enclosing portrait of ‘Slatey Hughes’, several decorative initials; dedication leaf reads, ‘To a very dear uncle, in grateful remembrance of all his loving care of a lonely niece 1867’; very well preserved in contemporary brown morocco, gilt lettering to spine and upper cover, covers ruled and stamped in gilt and black to a panel design, gilt turn-ins, purple silk moiré endpapers, gilt gauffered edges; extremities rubbed; inscription to front flyleaf ‘Isabella Slater January 1st 1862 from W.S.


US $1345€1216

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A charmingly written and illustrated manuscript, of humorous prose and poetry, produced by a young lady for her uncle as a memento of their trip together to North Wales in the summer of 1867. The author identifies herself as ‘Angelina Workington’ and her uncle as ‘Slatey Hughes Esquire’.

Written in archaic language – befitting the medieval style of its decoration – the first part of the manuscript provides a quirky account of their trip. When his sleep is troubled, Hughes seeks medical advice, receives a delightful mock prescription listing places in North Wales he should visit (‘Tinct. Capel Curig, Spir. Ffos noddyn’ etc.), and promptly catches an LNWR train. Hughes and his party stay at St George’s hotel in Llandudno (opened in 1854) and visit the Great Orme, Llanwrst, Capel Curig, and Snowdon (which they photograph). The accompanying illustrations show the party at the train station, encountering beggars on the Great Orme, in a horse-drawn carriage, and missing a boat.

The second part of the manuscript comprises four unpublished poems by Workington: ‘Ffos Noddyn’, written following her visit to the Fairy Glen on the River Conwy; ‘A growl from Gelert’s ghost’, an amusing piece on Llywelyn the Great’s legendary dog whose supposed grave is at Beddgelert; ‘The streamlet’s song’; and ‘Excelsior’ (very loosely based on Longfellow’s poem), recounting a climb by Hughes and his niece up a mountain.

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