Curling Wisps & Whispers of History
Vol. 1: Thanet to Tasmania
by LucyAnn Curling
If family history is about gathering as many ancestors as possible, this book fails: it focuses on just three generations of the author’s paternal side, between 1780 and 1826. At first nothing stirs the still waters of centuries of East Kent farming tradition. Men organize parish affairs, women follow domestic routines, boys attend a boarding school in Ramsgate, and only grandma seems interested in socializing or travel. Why then did Thomas Oakley Curling uproot everything and take his family on a marathon five-month voyage to Van Diemen’s Land? Why leave one child behind? And where does Sir Charles James Napier fit in?
The genealogical quest starts naturally with a family heirloom, but soon tangential questions emerge, as multiple threads are collated and woven into one story. ‘Georgian & Regency ancestors’ might sound remote, removed from our reality, but the individuals’ letters draw us into their world, and copious illustrations punctuate the text, animating the environments in which they lived. For fellow seekers there are also abundant indices, references, and lists of archives.
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