The Diary of a Cotswold Foxhunting Lady 1905-1910
- Frances Witts
- Edited by Susan Boone
15th November 2008
Frances Witts was the great-grand-daughter of the Cotswold Parson, and maintained the family tradition of keeping a diary - although in this case it was a diary specific to one particular pleasure - for riding side-saddle, Frances was addicted to following the hunt. Over a period of five years during the Edwardian period she recorded the details of her hunting expeditions, and whilst out on the hunt she met Jack, her husband to be. The diary is illustrated throughout with pen and ink sketches by her daughter, Susan Boone. It is also accompanied by many family photographs representing life in a well-to-do Cotswold family from Guiting Grange. Hunting with the Heythrop was a passion for Frances - a fact which comes out clearly in the diary. Modern-day followers of the hunting tradition will relish the enthusiasm expressed in the diary and empathise with the excitements and disappointments Frances experienced in the hunting field in the years immediately before her marriage to Ronnie, just before the life-changing effects of the First World War. Frances Kennard, nee Witts kept the diary in manuscript form, and her daughter Susan Boone, nee Kennard edited the text in 1980 and produced detailed line illustrations to embellish the text. She had a small private edition produced in 1981, but sadly, she died shortly afterwards. This is the first commercial publication and includes much previously unpublished material not included in the private edition including family photographs.