Osborne House to display Queen Victoria 'court gossip' book

Osborne House Osborne House was Queen Victoria and her family's residence on the Isle of Wight

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A journal containing descriptions of Queen Victoria's court in "great detail" is to go on display to the public at her former palace.

English Heritage bought the journal of Lt Gen Somerset Calthorpe at auction on the Isle of Wight on Tuesday.

After research is carried out by experts on the typed 250-page book it is to go on display at Osborne House, where the queen lived with her family.

The journal was bought for £2,500 and handwritten notes for £1,450.

Michael Hunter, English Heritage curator at Osborne House, said: "The books describe life at the court in great detail as well as containing doodles and sketches he drew.

"There is far more to life at Osborne than just the official accounts of and by the royal family, and we believe this journal will give us some fascinating insights into that world."

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

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

The journal and notes will be reviewed as part of ongoing research into political and courtly life at Queen Victoria's Isle of Wight home.

Lt Gen Somerset Calthorpe, who served in the Crimean War, recalls visits to Osborne House from 1888-1901, including dinner parties and other private functions.

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.

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