Tuesday, 8 March 2011

My Grandmother on my Father's side looked as I remember her, almost exactly like Maggie Smith when she's playing the part of the Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the series, 'Downton Abbey'.
 Nannie had been a teacher and always wore a tweed suit, quite long in the skirt and jacket, worn with a fine lawn-cotton blouse, high buttoned, with a silver brooch or a cameo at the neck.  She was apparently one of the first ladies to graduate in Mathematics, in those days women were newly admitted to less than a handful of universities and even when they won the tripos they could not claim the degree,  but only to have passed the degree examination!  She must have been quite feisty to have managed to persuade her parents to allow her to go on to further education.  Especially as this was around 1890, way before women could vote and girls were expected to marry and be a dutiful wife.  Nannie was the youngest of four girls, her eldest sister Great Aunt Lily also became a teacher and remained a spinster all her life, Lily was allegedly more than a little barmy, serving up cakes she'd stored for months all covered with green-mold to my brother and sister when they were little.   The middle sisters I know very little about, and all three siblings were deceased by the time I was born.  Nannie met my Grandfather when she was in London at University, though quite how they met...I wish I knew. I only know that he was policeman, one of the Peelers, as they were known and as policemen were required to work seven days a week with only 5 days unpaid holiday a year, it's a wonder they managed to meet at all!

There's me in the middle aged about fifteen, my mother on the left and of course Nannie on the right.

And there she is in her hat and gown.

8 comments:

jennyfreckles said...

She sounds wonderful. I don't think they make them like that anymore!

WOL said...

Good for her -- and in mathematics too!. Family history can be fascinating.

Lesya Khyzhnyak said...

Thanks for sharing these photos. Belated happy international women's day! I don't know whether you, in the UK, celebrate it, but we do :)

Takahiro Oki said...

"WOW!" This was my first thought after I finished reading your post. I admire women like your Nannie, who know what they want and pursue their dreams!

...Miss...Maddie's... said...

I do believe I see quite a resemblance to you at 15 and your Nannie's grad picture. Two young lasses separated by generations and connected by love...
Memories are part of who were are and it is wonderful to share them.
Susan x

Sea Angels said...

How lovely, I love family history lucky you to have known her
Hugs Lynn xxx

Marion said...

How interesting your gran is! The photo of the three of you probably makes you feel both happy and sad.

Sonia Florian said...

Jane, thank you so much for thinking about us! We are ok in Tokyo, but it seems that many others were less lucky. Will keep everyone posted as soon as things settle a bit. We are still not all together yet...