➸ [Reading] ➺ Kilvert's Diary 1870-1879: Selections from the Diary of the Rev. Francis Kilvert By Francis Kilvert ➭ – Horse-zine.co.uk


  • Paperback
  • 378 pages
  • Kilvert's Diary 1870-1879: Selections from the Diary of the Rev. Francis Kilvert
  • Francis Kilvert
  • English
  • 24 September 2018

10 thoughts on “Kilvert's Diary 1870-1879: Selections from the Diary of the Rev. Francis Kilvert

  1. says:

    You know that weird, poignant vibe you get from old photos all those smiling people, so interesting and life like, and all so dead, dead, dead That s the feeling Kilvert s Diary gives me a kind of na ve melancholy To think that these colourful personalities, these vivid moments, are simply gone And then to reflect that we re going too, and just as fast Hate to bring you down, kids, but there it is.Maybe I m projecting my morbid anxieties onto the book, but I don t think so I think this sense of the heartbreaking ephemerality of things is woven into the text by Kilvert himself But that s one reason people keep diaries, isn t it To salvage a few odds and ends before it all goes under It may not add up to much, it may not make a damn bit of sense, but it happened and it was real and if we don t hold on to it, who will All of which is very human and touching, until you remember that the average person s diary is a vain, tedious little chronicle unless you happen to be sleeping with that person, in which case it s bound to be shattering, so just don t Personally, I can hardly bear to look at my old diaries now, and when I do, the former self I meet there isn t the sort of guy I d want to chill out and play X box with usually he s the sort of guy I d want to knee in the groin So what makes Kilvert different Well, unlike so many of us today for whom blog and journal are verbs, Kilvert just wasn t that interested in himself He didn t waste a lot of time staring at the glittery snow globe of his inner life The world was enough for him It was a small, quiet, circumscribed world, but it gave him all the nourishment he needed.As a curate in a rural corner of Victorian England, Kilvert saw his share of life s unpleasantness His duties brought him into daily contact with the poor and infirm he visited their homes, drank their tea and listened to their stories and horrifying stories they are, too murders, suicides, insanity my God, the insanity every other house in nineteenth century England seemed to have a mad relative stashed away in some upsairs room.And he noticed things That s what I love about him his endless delight in the quirks of human behaviour A note was brought to me from David Vaughan and his son William was waiting outside So I had him in and gave him some beer He was rather shy and constrained and sat for a long time still with the tumbler of beer in his hand and looking at nothing I could not conceive why he did not drink the beer Then I thought he was ill At last he faced round on his chair half wheel and pronounced solemnly and formally, My best respects to you, Sir After having delivered himself of this respectful sentiment he imbibed some beer It was a bit of perfect good breeding.It s nothing much, I guess just some guy drinking beer But it s characteristic of Kilvert that he picks up on the man s exaggerated refinement He s clearly amused, but it s a good natured amusement it s generous The diary is full of moments like this, tiny, luminous moments that are justthere When he s at his best, his eye for the stray, telling detail is almost Tolstoyan I tried to catch the 8.45 train but while Henry Dew and I were running along the line to the station we heard the train coming behind us and it glided past close blazing with lamps into the station where it stopped half a minute and was off again to Hay in spite of Henry Dew s running and hooting So I walked home Past and left behind one roaring brook after another, Brilley, Rhydspence, Cabalva Over the border out of England into Wales in the dark, and one man was bringing another deadly sick out of the Brilley Rhysdpence Inn, the old timbered house, into the road.The lights of the train, the border crossed in the dark, the sick man carried out of the timbered house he makes you see it all.Every diary has its longueurs, and Kilvert s is no exception An amateur, sub Wordsworthian poet, he s always going into raptures over the landscapes he crosses on his long walks around the countryside These are fine in small doses, but as a dedicated urbanite, I find beautiful scenery kind of blah Give me a nice, flat parking lot to look at, a strip mall anything but some boring old mountain.One other thing Kilvert was a sexually frustrated bachelor for most of the period covered by the diary You get the sense he was quite the charmer, but even so it couldn t have been easy for an upright, single clergyman to get laid back then So there are a lot of impassioned descriptions of pretty women where the poor guy s longing is embarrassingly obvious And, okay, I can understand But he also writes just as yearningly about very young girls I m talking eight, nine years old It s creepy all the so because he doesn t seem to realize that he s sexualizing them What was it with Victorian men and their little girl fantasies No, don t tell me I don t want to know.


  2. says:

    very charming I had no idea the late Victorians played such wild games of croquet up to six games taking place on one lawn at once , and also I am a bit aggrieved that archery is never offered to me as a standard party activity Kilvert is a keen observer of place in this case, mostly the Hay valley area of Wales and a great describer, and often quite amusing Here is part of the first diary entry, about a woman who had a wood owl She wanted to call the owl Eve but Mrs Bridge her sister said it should be called Ruth She and her sister stranded in London at night went to London Bridge hotel.with little money and no luggage except the owl in a basket The owl hooted all night in spite of their putting it up the chimney, before the looking glass, under the bedclothes, and in a circle of lighted candles which they hoped it would mistake for the sun.Miss Child asked the waiter to get some mice for Ruth but none could be got My only complaint is that I d have liked general narrative and character background I kept wanting to flip to the end to see how the story ended, but it never became a real story Still, very interesting, soothing reading.


  3. says:

    Mentioned extensively in


  4. says:

    This book was a gift from a very dear friend who mentioned his favorite entries in the diary It was fun to come across those and get a transatlantic laugh together Kilvert is so lovely and enjoys his life to crying at the beauty of it all the pretty children he loves and the trees and fields he loves and his funny welsh parishioners who tell him such great stories It s fun to look up all the history Kilvert is living through, but the best parts come when he describes his 11 mile hikes to farms and hermits and villages.


  5. says:

    This is an outstanding, and often hilarious, account of adventures in Victorian Life Francis Kilvert is so full of foibles and so matter of factly recounts even the most gruesome scenes that the writing seems surprisingly modern I especially enjoyed his accounts of dining and drunkeness, and the carefree way people of leisure spent their free time A must for anyone interested in diaries, memoirs or Victorian life.


  6. says:

    One of my father s favorite books is this set of three, which he passed to me My dad was an American clergyman who loved the countryside in which the book is set, on the Welsh border, though he spent little time there and certainly did not walk the hills as Parson K did Happily inconsequential to us now, though filled with birth, death, sickness, joys and disappointments Some lyric flights Most valuable as rural social history Kilvert was shy but gregarious.


  7. says:

    Oddly endearing Victorian clergyman s diary The nature writing is very strong, as are the descriptions of rural life and the memories of the elderly parishioners he visits, some of whom remember back into the previous century Justifiably considered a classic of diary literature, and you can t help feeling sorry for Kilvert s various ill starred love affairs and clerical ambitions.


  8. says:

    Beautiful, enlightening, brutal and sad A private and personal account of life in a remote Welsh village which somehow or another seems to reach out from this obscurity to touch and recognise our modern lives.


  9. says:

    This book was enchanting with snippits of rural life.The changing seasons, the ringing of the bells for New Year and weddings.The customs and the people.It seems that some things haven t changed.I loved it


  10. says:

    Fascinating insight into life in a Victorian Rural setting The Gores in the book are some of my distant relatives so this was particularly helpful in my family history research..


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About the Author: Francis Kilvert

Robert Francis Kilvert always known as Francis, or Frank, was an English clergyman remembered for his diaries reflecting rural life in the 1870s, which were published over fifty years after his death.After his death from peritonitis, his diaries were edited and censored, possibly by his widow Later they were passed on to William Plomer who transcribed the remaining diaries and edited and publishe