Lady Helen Hall of Dunglass 1762-1837, Lang-heidit leddy, by Sally Wilson

Lady Helen Hall was wise, a 'long-head' at the centre of her large family, a rural Scottish community and Edinburgh society. Colourful threads run through her story, most notably that of her Selkirk brother Thomas who was controversially engaged in settling Scottish and Irish families in Canada. Her husband Sir James Hall, 4th Bt of Dunglass is regarded still for his geological, architectural and scientific experiments. Their son Basil travelled widely as a naval officer and turned his adventures into best-selling books while a daughter also earned her place in history through writing and romance.

This is the story of an aristocratic lady born in a period of Scottish history when women were not particularly valued for their intellect. She astutely managed the running of two households and quite exceptionally, the repair and letting of ninety cottages on their Berwickshire and East Lothian estate. Of particular interest to social historians and genealogists are her journals which touch on the lives of her tenants, the rural poor.

"Scottish history has many fascinating aspects and by looking closely at the lifestyle of one particular person, we can learn much. Sally Wilson's entertaining and well-written account is more than merely a straightforward biography, for by means of extensive extracts from family correspondence, household accounts and memorandum books (the latter printed in full), she makes us familiar with the smallest details of her subject's life."
from the Introduction by Dr. Rosalind Marshall and Lord Selkirk of Douglas PC, QC

The book measures 245 x 173mm, portrait, and is bound in full-colour hard covers. There are 376 pages printed black and white with a tipped-in full-colour frontispiece taken from Sir Henry Raeburn's portrait of Lady Helen.

Each chapter has a full-page illustration and there are numerous vignette illustrations. The text is fully referenced and thoroughly indexed.

 

 

CONTENTS
Acknowledgments
Foreword
Introduction

PART ONE: Enlightenment - A Male Preserve
Courtship and Marriage
Dunglass Castle
Childbirth
Managing the Household
New responsibilities
William, Alexander and Tibbie Hall
A New Beginning
A Selkirk Legacy - Fair Sharing
Building Dunglass Mansion
A Family Crisis
Thomas, 5th Earl of Selkirk
The Douglas sisters
Captain Basil Hall
Magdalene Hall De Lancey Harvey
Love Blossoms, Bears Fruit, Dies
The Long, Slow Decline of Sir James
Gossip and Social Gatherings
Three Weddings
High, High Society
A Young Life Ends; An Old One Lingers
The Death of Sir James
The Lady Takes Wing
Death of Lady Helen
Epilogue

PART TWO: Introduction: Building Cottages
Glossary of building terms and Scottish measures
Lady Helen's Memorandum book 1792-1811
Lady Helen's Memorandum book 1826-1832
List of Tenants
Appendixes: Dunglass Estate in 1801
The Selkirks
The Halls of Dunglass
Bibliography
Index

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