What do The Times Top Twenty Hotels for Christmas have in common with our new exhibition? Easy! Stoke Rochford Hall near Grantham in Lincolnshire, which is now a luxury hotel offering packages for Christmas and the New Year, was once the home of Dora Turnor (1858-1899), author of a fascinating diary bound in three small octavo volumes which form part of our newest display of material.
Dora started her journal just before her fourteenth birthday and finished it, with some soul-searching, just before her twenty-second birthday in June 1880. There are almost one thousand pages totalling perhaps a hundred thousand words. The diary documents her life at the hall, and at the family’s London home at Chesham Place, Belgravia, one of the grandest of London streets and now home to three embassies.
Dora Turnor’s diary is a remarkable survival. There are surprisingly few diaries written by teenage girls in the late Victorian period. Dora died in 1899 and was survived by her husband and two children.