Troubador “All My Darlings”

Released: 28/11/2018

ISBN: 9781789014358

eISBN: 9781789012521

Format: Hardback/eBook

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“All My Darlings”

A Victorian Family in Their Own Words

by

My aim … to rescue from oblivion the lives of ordinary people – Athol Fugard


In 2005, Patricia Neate inherited a dusty Regency desk that had once belonged to her husband's great grandfather, George Augustus Macirone. Sagging under the weight of papers, it sat in the spare room, shedding rosewood veneer. Something had to be done. 

Patricia took a deep breath and opened it up. She pulled out a packet of yellowed letters, brown at the edges – scores of tiny envelopes addressed to George Macirone, George Augustus’s father, at a place called Heigham Hall. On an impulse she looked it up straight away. It had been a private Lunatic Asylum. She sat down to read there and then. 

Patricia began to pick her way through a treasure trove of family letters spanning the reign of Queen Victoria. It contained vivid stories – from a first hand account of the young Queen’s wedding to a plan to spring Napoleon from St Helena via brushes with cultural icons like Dickens, Keats and Mendelssohn. But, the most gripping were the personal ones – of mental illness and manic invention, grand houses and debtors’ prison, flawed hopes of colonial emigration, and the religious schisms that almost tore the Macirones apart. And through them all ran the lives of George Augustus’s sisters, Clara and Emily, who sacrificed any hope of romantic love or children to support their family – two enterprising, resilient, talented women, two notable omissions from “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls”!

More than a decade later, Patricia completed “All My Darlings”. It is a remarkable achievement: a quotidian tale of Victorian life, a vital social history, and a simple family portrait - open-ended, unguarded and brimming with humanity.

Transcriptions of all the letters in the Macirone archive can now be accessed via the All My Darlings website .

http://www.allmydarlings.net/

I love how this family's history was laid out via their own letters, journals, and other documents found in an old desk. The writer put together a book that was more interesting than fiction. I felt myself becoming invested in this family the more that I read.

by Cristie Underwood


When the author discovered a treasure trove of letters photos diaries of this family,he went back in time entering their lives their world.I loved this book what a wonderful treat to go back in time to get an intimate look at them their daily existence their era.Highly recommend.

by Abby Siverman


Patricia Neate

A lifelong Londoner, Patricia Neate has been a teacher, marriage counsellor and family therapist. A fascination with human relationships, which provide the underlying texture of life in the past as in the present, drew the author inevitably to the story of the family who live so vividly in All My Darlings through their letters, diaries and notebooks.

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