JOANNA DYKE ACLAND TROYTE (1843-1917). GOSLING SOCIETY. ~ Illuminated manuscript of the Epistles of St James and St. Jude.
Illuminated manuscript written out on 38 pages in black, blue, green and red ink with two full painted and ornamented title pages with numerous illuminated initials heightened in gilt and two floral painted quarter borders. 8vo., bound, apparently by the artist, in full parchment over boards with a cross stuck onto the upper cover, marbled endpapers, rather grubby and marked but a strong binding.
On the verso of the free endpaper is a pencil note “Joanna Dyke Acland Harper fecit (aged 16 1/2) - bequeathed to her grandson Ton Conwy and then with an addtional note when it was given another relative on his ordination in 1970.
From the year of this piece of illumination in 1859 until her 1864 marriage to Leonard Harpur (son of the Bishop of Christchurch) when she emigrated to New Zealand, Joanna Dyke Acland Troyte (as she then was) was a member of the Gosling Society with the Society name of ‘Albatross’.
The Gosling Society was a remarkable women’s education group founded by the noted writer Charlotte Mary Yonge on the prompting of Mary Coleridge for intelligent young women who felt constrained by their lives as daughters of middle class families in Victorian Society who were being educated at home while their brothers went to schools and universities. They each wrote two essays a month on academic topics which were circulated among the group. Yonge was called ‘Mother Goose’ and the girls became ‘The Goslings’ each adopting a pen-name such as ‘Hedge-Rose’ or ‘Shamrock’ or in this case ‘Albatross’. Early members, along with the writer of this manuscript, included several members of the Coleridge family. The Society ran continuousy until 1877.