|Content Description||Copies of letters from Meriel Buchanan to friends including Miss Stevenson, Helene, Nadyda, Nina, Evelyn, Daisy, Eleonar, Frl. Brandis, dating from 19 August, 1911 to 7th May, 1912. The letters were all written from St Petersburg, with the exception of one from Knowle, Surrey.|
The letters include references to the family's return to the Embassy at St. Petersburg (f 1r); the health of her father, Sir George (ff 1r, 4v, 5r); the murder of Stolypin [in September 1911]: 'he was such a splendid man and it does seem such a ghastly thing and so absolutely senseless...', (ff 6r-7r); her 'delicious lazy' time in England in comparison with society in The Hague and her attendance at balls where people would 'pity' her (ff 7v-8v).
Letters also concern 'the Season' and society and include references to her flirtations with men (ff 14v-15v); she comments on one particular suitor who has deserted her because of the need to marry into money (ff 8, 12, 13, 14r, 16v, 17r).
Many of the letters reflect Meriel's boredom and frustration (ff 3v, 4, 5v, 8 ), including that in which she comments on the family's return to England [in April 1912]: 'Society is so small and conversation so, limited...it makes one feel sad and somehow bored with life...' (f 17r).
The letter book also includes some poetic verses. A six line verse commencing 'So frail, so fallen, so forsworn' appears on f 7r. A poem consisting of three verses of eight lines commencing 'Did you think it was yours with its poor wings broken' appears on f 11v. Reference to the poems of Laurence Hope is made on ff 3v-4r.
The following items have been inserted into the volume:
postcard of St Nicholas Church, Cranleigh (f 7r);
photograph of person with cat (f 9r);
two postcards, one of Cirencester House and one of Pope's Seat, Cirencester Park (f 9v);
two photographs of a room in an unidentified building (f 10r);
photograph of exterior of unidentified building with figures in the forecourt (f 10v);
photograph of cat on chair (f 13r);
photograph of Nadyda and dog called Punch III (f 17v);
newspaper cutting showing people attending the funeral of the Duke of Leuchtenberg (several of whom are named) (f 18r).
A number of other items were at one time inserted into the volume but have since been removed or lost, prior to its accession. Items are now missing from f 2v, 5r, 6r, 9r , 16r. The removal of the item from f 16r has caused a large hole in the folio.