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Journal of my visit to Naworth Castle Vol.1 (December 1870)

May Morris (1862 - 1938)

This diary was written by May Morris in December 1870 when she was eight years old. It describes her and her sister Jenny's first visit to Naworth Castle in July 1870. Naworth was the Cumbrian home of the Howard family, good friends of the Morris family. In the the first couple of pages May provides a description of her character and appearance: 

Having spent the greater past of last summer amongst the beautiful hills of Cumberland with my sister Jane, I write this short account of our doings for the benefit of our Mamma and in case this little story should fall into the hands of someone that does not know me I shall now present a description of myself. I am a great tomboy but I was not such a great one there because I was afraid of setting the little children we were staying with a bad example. I shall be nine next twenty fifth of March. I am very untidy and always very dirty and sometimes I am ashamed to say very naughty. I have got light curly hair cut on my forehead. My eyes are blue. I am neither fat nor very thin. Now I have described myself I will have my readers judge whether I am pretty or ugly. If I write a long preface I shall have nothing to say in my book. Mary Morris

The proceeding pages describe May's explorations of the local countryside and the events that occured during her holiday. Jane Morris refers to this journal in a letter to Rosalind Howard 19th December 1870: 'May, I believe is writing a Journal of all their proceedings at Naworth'. (Howard Collection)