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The World According to Pitt

- October 1, 2013 in childhood, collections, Curator's Choice, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, georgian, Hester Pitt, letters, National Archives, texts, Texts: 18th, Texts: Non-fiction, UK National Archives, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide, Wikimedia Commons, William Pitt, William Pitt the Younger

Jo Pugh, researcher at the UK National Archives, explores the newly digitised letters of former British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger and his sister Hester, and how their contents shed an intimate light on one of the most politically influential families in British history.

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Baby Book (1922)

- November 13, 2012 in baby book, childhood, children, collections, dreams, robert louis stevenson, texts, Texts: 19th, Texts: 20th, Texts: Miscellaneous, Texts: Non-fiction

Stevenson’s baby book, being the record of the sayings and doings of Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson, son of Thomas Stevenson, C.E. and Margaret Isabella Balfour or Stevenson; 1922; John Howell / J.H. Nash, San Francisco . A remarkable record of the first few years of author Robert Louis Stevenson’s life, as noted down by his mother in a “Baby Book”. The book featured above, published in 1922, consists of a facsimile of the original handwritten baby book followed by a transcription. Amid various baby-related milestones, such as first teeth, crawl, walk, etc., we hear reports of a young “Lou” (also called “Boulihasker, Smoutie, Baron Broadnose, Signor Sprucki,.. Maister Sprook”) first engaging with and questioning the world around him… here’s a few little golden snippets: When 1 year old… Jan 13th: Smout gives up his forenoon sleep and calls books “oufs” because he expects to find pictures of dogs in them. 3 years old… April 17th: When Smout was drawing pictures he said “I have drawed a man’s body, shall I do his soul now?” 4 years old… January 10th : When Lou saw the sun looking red he said “It’s just like a great big orange thrown up into the [...]