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Great-grandpa and the social whirl

Posted by on April 19, 2014

The next letters I have from Alfred John Liversedge, AJL, to his daughter Ethel are from Curepipe in Mauritius in May and July 1894.  In May he asks her to send him some primroses or violets or even some daises from the fields.  He is sending her and her little sister a box with a few stalks of rice in it; “which I pulled myself from a field.  The rice was growing between rows of sugar cane, and I thought you would like to see just how rice grows.”   By the June letter the flowers have arrived along with a poem and drawings.  He writes that “it is so nice to have some English flowers.  Here they are on my desk before me as I write.  But I’ll tell you what, you should not have tied them up with thread; but you should have got one of Mama’s hairs and tied them up with that.”   He ends by promising to take some sugar-cane for them but warns her that they mustn’t expect it to be like a stick of sugar candy.

Shoot for Admiral Kennedy, Tamarind Falls, Mauritius 1894

Shoot for Admiral Kennedy, Tamarind Falls, Mauritius 1894

I also have a letter to (John) Arthur, his elder son and my great-uncle  written in May.  Arthur would have been 14 and must have written to his father recently mentioning that he was reading Caesar.  AJL picks this up and compares the Roman Empire to the current British Empire.  This time he also describes some of his daily life; “I shall get a half an hour at tennis this evening, if it doesn’t rain.  We must try and fix up a tennis court for mama and the girls soon – it’s a very nice game – it is played a great deal here and the French play it as well as the English.”  I think this must have happened triggering a love of tennis in my great-aunts, I have certainly seen pictures of them and their brothers holding tennis rackets.

AJL spent long enough in Mauritius to take an active part in the social life on the expatriate community.  I have invitation cards in both

Invitation to a deer drive dated 26th July 1894

Invitation to a deer drive dated 26th July 1894

English and French that he received but I expect the most exciting was the invitation to a deer drive at Tamarind Falls on 4 August 1894.   I don’t know whether he later wrote to his children about this but a loose photograph has survived with the pencilled description; “Mr Robinson’s shoot for Admiral Kennedy at Tamarind Falls, Mauritius, 1894”.

 

 

 

 

Barbara

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