January 13, 1927: “as dull inside as it is out”

Thursday 13 Dull, looks like rain. As dull inside as it is out. Edith irritable Audry saucy. Not much like our old house where every one tried to be polite to each other. That is the only way it is possible to live + get along smoothly. John was so pleasant to live with Clarence + Edith are going out to get something for dinner tomorrow. So we may have plenty of time if Lucy comes. I have back ache + a terrible pain in my toe can scarcely walk. Had dinner, washed up dishes, read “Pickwick Papers” aloud Audrea liked them very much Clarence could see nothing to them.

Notes + Explanations:

There’s that great word, “saucy”, again. Love it.

The “old house” she speaks of is their probably the house on Elm Place.

the house on Elm Place

the house on Elm Place

John, her husband, from what I can tell, was a very sociable and well-respected man, with a long political career in Somerville. I’ve got two different articles – one from their “Silver Wedding Anniversary” and one from their “Crystal Wedding Anniversary” – both huge spreads in the newspaper with portraits of Annie and John and descriptions of all the hoards of attendants.

The “Pickwick Papers” were The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, Charles Dickens’ first novel.

Pickwickclub_serialHe was asked to contribute to the project as an up-and-coming writer following the success of Sketches by Boz, published in 1836 (most of Dickens’ novels were issued in shilling installments before being published as complete volumes). Dickens (still writing under the pseudonym of Boz) increasingly took over the unsuccessful monthly publication after the original illustrator Robert Seymour had committed suicide.

(source: Wiki)

The last phrase about The Pickwick Papers sums up her disdainful opinion of her son-in-law fairly well… “Audrea liked them very much, Clarence could see nothing to them.” I’m very intrigued by her whole disapproval of him, actually. You see, there’s a bit of a mystery here.

I recently discovered a photo of Edith with a young man, and on the back it was written: “Fred Wilson – engaged to Edith for 13 years!!!” We had never head of a Fred Wilson prior to this finding.

Then, I recently discovered that Edith and Clarence were married five days after Audrey was born!

1916.02.22. Marriage of Clarence Lester to Edith Macdonald

Now, I know Annie would not have approved of that. My question is… Was Clarence really Audrey’s dad, and they got pregnant out of wedlock very suddenly? Or was he a stand in for this Fred who shirked his duties? Intriguing, no?

Of course, “Fred Wilson” is the most common name ever, proving it very difficult to find him with little else information. Oh the mystery! (As more info comes along, I’ll post it to the page for Fred Wilson.)

Original Diary Page:

1927.01.13-14 - Annie F Morris diary

© Mariana Pickering and Gnarly Roots, 2015.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including photos) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariana Pickering and Gnarly Roots with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

3 thoughts on “January 13, 1927: “as dull inside as it is out”

  1. Al says:

    Well there’s a mystery for you. Maybe Annie will speak of it later? Now we know the angst between mother and daughter. This would have been whispered about and very difficult for Annie considering her social standing. Annie speaks of her toe hurting? Gout, something else? What is Lucy holding in the photo, any idea? Note how the women are dressed! 1916 would have been the very latest this photo was taken, if my math is correct. This is the Gibson Girl style which was popular from 1880-1910 so I’m dating this photo between 1903-1910 Edith perhaps age 23-30. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    • dearmariana says:

      yep, you said it!
      Um, I don’t know anything about dating photos, but I would say they look to be their early 20s, don’t you think? I mean, if she was engaged to him for 13 years… she could have been, at the oldest, 23 when they started the relationship, in order for it to have finished around 1916. I thought at first that Lucy was holding another camera, not sure why. But now that I look again, I have no idea what that is.

      I added more photos of Fred!


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