Bertha Morley, Commonplace Book, First World War - Original 1917 album

An original 1917 album, Bertha Morley Commonplace Book, First World War.

This small cloth-bound album was owned by Bertha Morley during the First World War. The book comprises 43 leaves, 31 of which are inscribed with short poems, proverbs and quotations; 3 are accompanied by small illustrations. There is evidence of the backdrop of war, with a contribution signed by a gunner in the Australian Imperial Forces 1918, and another poem starting: "When war is on and danger nigh..".

Inscribed and dated on the front endpaper, and inscribed by the owner on the first page.
The book is intact but the pages are partially coming away from the spine. Some pages have age toning.
13.5cm x 16cm.

This book is one of a collection of commonplace books owned by young women at the beginning of the 20th century. They are an eclectic delight of intriguing inscriptions and drawings – often witty poems, proverbs and quotations, and humorous, sweet cartoons.

All signed and dated by the contributors – the owner’s friends, family and acquaintances – they tell a personal story and give insight into the life of a young women in Britain around the time of the First World War. Furthermore, their often moralising content reveals a wider context of a very different world from today – of an old-fashioned innocence and belief in values such as modesty, hard work and ever-lasting friendship. 


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