Kate Chisholm

Fair as a star, when only one is shining in the sky

The engagement diary of Anne Thackeray Ritchie (1837-1919) reads like a Victorian Who’s Who. Dickens, Trollope, Browning, George Eliot and Mrs Gaskell were all among her acquaintance. While holidaying on the Isle of Wight she went on long walks with Tennyson, struggling to keep up with the poet, ‘listening to his talk, while the gulls came sideways, flashing their white breasts against the edge of the cliffs, and the poet’s cloak flapped time to the gusts of the wet wind’.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in