A European Travel Diary, circa 1906

(Berlin, Germany: circa 1906).

Price: $300.00

Softcover. Pocket ledger (4” x 6 ½”). Black cloth over card covers, edges stained red. Berlin stationers ticket: “Theodor Jahn Papierhandlung” on inside front cover. Owner’s name and Berlin address in pencil on the front free endpaper: “Marion G. Eames, 123a Potsdamer Str. / Pension von Finch”. Rubbing and modest wear at the edges, back cover corner is chipped, very good.

A curious diary kept by an unidentified person in Berlin and elsewhere in Europe, who quite possibly was a relation of the Welsh novelist Marion (Gwladys) Eames. The diary begins with a series of daily entries dating from February, 14 – April 26 [the calendar year is not stated]; and a second series of (overlapping?) daily entries written in the same hand dating from February 23, 1906 – April 28 [1906].

The diary commences in Berlin, where the diarist is living with Marion (presumably the same person whose name is written on the front free endpaper). He or she often refers to Marion, noting when they both have taken German lessons together, and when Marion takes piano and theory lessons. Frequent concert going and the study of music features predominately throughout the diary, which can be read as a veritable *Who’s Who* of the great soloists and conductors of Europe at the time. References to Wagner Opera performances are frequent.

The diarist and Marion spend three months in Berlin, with Marion studying piano and theory with one “Mr. Boise,” and both intermittently visit other German cities. They take the Orient Express to Paris and also travel through Italy, before returning [home?] to Liverpool and London.

Although the novelist Marion Eames was born in 1921, she also was a talented musician, and the possibility of a familial connection is intriguing [else this diary is of little interest!] A travel diary of mostly perfunctory entries which, taken together, conveys an informative first-hand account of the rich and vibrant musical culture of Germany at the turn of the century.


Item #447423

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