Saturday, March 2, 2013

Receiving a Port Eliot Guide Book in the Mail

Different things are thrilling to different people, and the thing that thrills me right now is a Guide Book from the Cornish estate of Port Eliot. Port Eliot. The longest inhabited dwelling in the U.K. and the family home of Edward James Eliot --- my pet member of the Clapham Sect.

I've been researching the Eliot family for over a year, which has certainly been a fun challenge. I am particularly interested and intrigued by the family during the 18th century, but I've done a considerable amount of reading outside of that. It's given me the opportunity to contact a lot of U.K. archives, libraries and churches --- and even some private estates. Particularly, I've been in contact with Lord St. Germans at Port Eliot. He's been quite "game" and considerate in answering tons of questions. This week he sent one of Port Eliot's guide books to me, and it arrived last night.

This thing is loaded with fun information --- quite a bit of which I didn't know. The Eliot Family has lived there for well over four-hundred years, and they have never thrown anything away! Rooms, attics, basements. All filled with things representing history. Walls from the 13th Century. Portraits from the 16th century. Furniture from the 17th century.

This is a place that I would "give my eye teeth" to see, as the saying goes. (Okay, so I wouldn't really . . . but almost.) Elizabeth and I really look forward to the day that we'll save enough to go to England and see this place. Until then, reading the guide book is good preparation. ;) The picture to the left shows one of the many family portraits that hang throughout the house. There is something special about seeing the faces of the people that are the "names and dates" in the family tree I'm working on.

Anyway, it's hard to explain why getting a little book about a foreign mansion is so very thrilling, but I am thrilled about it. I've been boring Mom and Elizabeth with facts and stories from it for almost twenty-four hours now. Guess they are pretty tired of hearing about the Eliots! More later.

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