Isle of Wight 'royal gossip' journal sells for £2,500

Journal The journal is bound in leather and was typed up by Lt Gen Somerset Calthorpe's daughter May

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The journal of a man who served in the Crimean War and dined with Queen Victoria on the Isle of Wight has sold for £2,500 at auction.

The typed, leather-bound book by Lt Gen Somerset Calthorpe recollects time spent with the royals at Osborne House.

The 250-page-long book and handwritten notes it was typed from were sold to English Heritage.

Island Auction Rooms had expected the journal to sell for between £300 and £500 and the notes for £100-200.

The book recalls visits to Osborne House from 1888-1901, including dinner parties and other private functions Lt Gen Calthorpe attended over the years and describes the royal household in great detail.

Hand-written journal The original handwritten pages of the journal were also up for auction

He describes a discussion with Queen Victoria about her portrait in the Peabody Museum, a visit by Lord Alfred Tennyson and a talk of the suicide of Rudolph, Crown Prince of Austria.

Warren Riches, auctioneer and valuer at Island Auction Rooms, said: "The detail is superb, almost obsessive. What comes across is that the royals were very stiff, as was the court.

"The auction was fantastic. It generated a lot of interest and they went for a lot more than we expected."

Some handwritten pages of the original journal, which were typed up by his daughter May, were sold for £1,450, having only been expected to fetch between £100 and £200.

Lt Gen Somerset Calthorpe served as aide-de-camp to Lord Raglan in the Crimean War.

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