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Hutchings, Emily
Diary of Emily Hutchings kept during a tour of the Mediterranean.
Egpyt ; Italy, 1881 January 22-1881 May 28.
Physical Description:
1 v. (171 p.) : ill. ; 20 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
DT54.H88 D53 1881
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
Bound in contemporary black cloth.
Manuscript diary of a tour of Mediterranean countries, kept by Emily Hutchings, a young English woman, in 1881. Entries are written in pen and black ink or in graphite. Hutchings also adds a small number of rough sketches, in pen and black ink, of sights on her tour. The diary is kept within a ruled notebook, the latter half of which remains blank.
Hutchings departs from Liverpool on 22 January (the diarist's birthday) aboard the S.S. Hispania. Her travelling party includes an aunt and two other family members named Eva and Annie. En route to Port Said, Hutchings laments the annoyance of a perpetually crying baby, along with the rough waters that delay the ship's arrival in Egypt. After disembarking at Port Said on 5 February, Hutchings's party continues by train to Cairo. She remarks upon several sights in Egypt, including the ruins at Luxor and Memphis. She describes encountering locals, noting that in Cairo, " ... the most motley crowd met our eye, but so picturesque, the colouring so rich and varied, the Arabs' dress so strange & the whole scene so different from anything I ever saw before...".
In Cairo, she makes a point of visiting the school run by the prominent educationist and missionary, Mary Louisa Whately. Whately's school, when it opened in 1860, was the first school for poor Muslim girls. It later became a school for boys as well, and by the time of Hutchings's visit, may have numbered over 500 students (cf DNB). Whateley conveys to Hutchings the challenge of educating girls who are either not allowed to attend school or who leave it for marriage at an early age. Hutchings seems very impressed by the demonstration of musical and linguistic talents displayed by Whately's students. She does not seem particularly interested in Muslim culture, though, noting on more than one occasion her refusal to remove her shoes in order to enter mosques, as Hutchings and her party consider such a practice to be somehow improper.
From Cairo, Hutchings and her fellow travelers (a group that now includes her father) move on to Alexandria and then to Italy. She is much struck by all that she sees on this leg of the voyage. In particular, she writes extensively about Pompeii and includes a couple of pen and ink sketches in her journal to illustrate the ruins. She notes a very small eruption of Vesuvius during her stay at Pompeii. While in Italy, Hutchings collects some small botanical specimens and threads them into pages 58, 67, 77, and 87. She goes on to visit other tourist spots in Italy, including the Vatican, where she marvels at the "Apollo Belvedere". Hutchings is unimpressed by the Sistine Chapel, however, saying that she "expected something much grander". In Rome, on 3 April, she notes, "We saw the King of Italy 4 times; he passed quite close to us. He is very plain indeed." From Rome, the traveling party proceeds to Florence and then on to Venice where Hutchings remarks that the Rialto is much changed since the days of Shakespeare's Shylock and Antonio. Throughout her trip, she visits many religious and historic sites, as well as art galleries and other repositories of sculpture and painting. She notes that she makes sketches of some of her destinations, although these were not executed within the diary. Hutchings also records being photographed, most often with her father, at various locations along the way; these photos are also absent from the journal. Without explanation, the journal entries end on 28 May, as Hutchings begins to make her way into Switzerland, via Lugano. The remainder of the volume is blank, aside from some unfinished simple graphite sketches.
Subject Terms:
British -- Egypt.
Egypt -- Description and travel.
Egypt -- Social life and customs.
Greece -- Description and travel.
Hutchings, Emily -- Diaries.
Italy -- Description and travel.
Mediterranean Region -- Description and travel.
Missions -- Educational work -- Egypt.
Ocean travel.
Pompei (Italy) -- Description and travel.
Rome (Italy) -- Description and travel.
Whately, M. L.
Women missionaries -- Egypt.
Ink drawings.
Graphite drawings.

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