Nurses Commonplace Book - Original 1886 album

An original 1886 album, Nurses Commonplace Book.

This charming album, packed full of inscriptions, was owned by "Kittie" of Cornwall House, Walcott, Bath in 1886, a nurse at training college in Bristol. The contributions in the book from numerous friends and fellow students show the popularity of this young woman and the affectionate college memories shared between friends. Some of the handwriting is exquisitely neat, and contributions include a drawn map of the British Isles inscribed with tiny place names, as well as various other small illustrations. The book comprises 89 leaves, 83 of which have content. Inscriptions include, amongst others: "Language of Stamps", with a Halfpenny stamp pasted to the page, "The Truth about Wives", "Fishponds College Alphabet" and "What is love".

The covers, although intact, are coming away from the bound pages at the spine.
20.5cm x 17cm.

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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