Saturday, May 26, 2012

Aunt Epp

I have a page on my blog where I record the books I've read during the year (see above). I keep this list mainly for me, but when I come across something interesting, I share it here on my home page.

I recently finished:

Aunt Epp's Guide for Life by Elspeth Marr

The subtitle of the book is Miscellaneous Musings of a Victorian Lady, which is an accurate description! My daughter, Ashley, picked up this book and thought it was entertaining so she decided to share it with me. The book is broken down into an alphabetical list of categories that Aunt Epp writes about, everything from Apples to War. She has many home remedies that make you glad you live in modern times. :)

This book gave me a new perspective on the Victorian lady, one that shows how transitory intellectualism was during her lifetime. Aunt Epp can be conservative through one entry and quite open-minded (Darwin) the next. I certainly didn't always agree with her, but I felt I got a fresh view of the changes that occurred between the 19th and 20th centuries.

Aunt Epp was a writer, a journaler. I can imagine she would have been a blogger had she lived in our time, despensing knowledge and sharing opinions about everyday topics to a worldwide audience. (Don't you marvel at how cool it is that we get to share our thoughts with people we would have never met, if we didn't live in the computer age.)

My favorite excerpt from the book:


Maintain a diary all your days.  A diary is a doorway to a second life, running parallel to the one you live, and produces even a third life, for by recording the day's events, you preserve the days like berries. You may return to that day, taste it, and live it over again, but without that act of preservation the day has gone; it is nothing.  More than this, by preserving your days, you will allow others to live that day for themselves, that hour, that afternoon, should they read your record, a day culled from the past, perhaps even hundreds of years from now; and this indeed is the aim and enjoyment of all writing, however humble, to seize the day, and to store it away on a secret shelf, out of reach of the Reaper and his swinging scythe.

An original poem by Aunt Epp:


Wars are made by busy men
Just an hour or more,
Women do the clearing up -
Loss a longer chore.

When your boy has done his bit
And lies on foreign plain,
Sit out your life on window seats -
Watch the falling rain.

If the broken bits they brought
Lie under yonder leaf,
Fit with your heart, cross-stitch the grass,
Take time to mend your grief.

Leaders have no time for us,
Heroes do as must -
We are the sweepers-up
Of centuries of dust.


gail said...

Been busy? Haven't seen you around in a while!

Nel said...

Sounds like an interesting book.
until next time... nel