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.
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.
He 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.
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!
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:
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