Four lovely little books I found in a second hand bookshop in St Peter Port are:
Guernsey in Queen Victoria’s Regn and Guernsey Folklore
I first picked up two in the series of ‘Guernsey Historical Monographs’ republished in 1986 from original texts in1847 & 1860. There is nothing better than to read history through the eyes of those who were there! I love the dialogue, for example of the boys on the docks jostling for custom with the arrival of travellers from the steamer. Inside these gems are many more precious glimpses into Guernsey’s past.
John Skinner’s visit to the Channel Islands August 1827
‘the Peasants, their cheerful looks, and independent, yet respectful manners, bespeak of happiness: there seems however a want of wood in the Island, which our driver (horse and trap) endeavoured to account for by saying, all the trees of any size, were cut down during the war to build Privateers…’
Memoires de Guernsey 1885 by Claudine L’Abbe
How delightful this is, with its flowing muses and wonderful descriptions:
‘’How well I remember La Rue des Cornets. As a child it captured my imagination and filled my mind with wonder…… Then came a perilous flight of stone steps leading to the water’s edge, a relic of old privateering days……..After this came the sensation of the times and the rendezvous of epicures and gourmets.’
Anyone who’s been to St Peter Port will be transported in their mind back to the quaint cobbled streets and even smell the delights from the restaurants and cafes looking over the harbour towards Castle Cornet.
If you have your own personal memories of a visit to Guernsey, it would be lovely to hear from you too!
© Diana Jackson 28/02/2011