Thursday, 4 February 2010
An Edwardian Girl
Barry has been scanning hundreds more photos and I was delighted to see this one as I feared it had been lost. It's a photograph of my mother. She's wearing a bonnet with long streamers rather than a more formal hat and I would love to ask her the circumstances of this photographic session. I thought she had told me she was wearing school clothes but when my granddaughter looked at it she wondered if that were so as my mother was wearing a pendant. Interestingly, the fastening for the chain has slipped to the front. (Eve is 8 years old and attends a school with very traditional rules about personal adornment!) I have been looking more carefully at the image and see that she is wearing gloves and a lightweight coat with a deep collar which appears to fasten only at the neck. Her shoes look remarkably modern and though I cannot see how they fasten I suspect they are buttoned. Her sash is buckled.When I was a child I was convinced the photo had been taken during a country walk and I think the studio setting conveys this very well. I estimate my mother's age to be around 9 or 10 which means the portrait was taken about 1913 or 1914, just before the outbreak of the First World War. Her father was a policeman so was not called up and her two older brothers were not yet old enough to be eligible for war service.
Such images pose more questions than they ask and the pity of it is that I shall never know the full story. Nonetheless, I love this photograph and all the others of my parents' childhood and young life and marriage before I appeared on the scene, long after they thought they had finished with babies!