Scope and Contents
A manuscript volume written in black ink, with illuminated headings and initials. The volume of 131pp had been illustrated and sketched, according to the seller's notes, by Agnes L. Tracy and Isabel M. W. Tracy. It is bound in green cloth, and the front cover bears the initials MCT in gilt. There are seven illustrations and these are signed with the initials 'A.L.T'. and one is numbered '64', which may be the date 1864. The volume opens with a 'Dedication' beginning: These to our Mary , since she holds them dear. These little tributes of her sisters love we give...'. There is a 'Contents' list, and a list of 'Illustrations'. The work then comprises six pieces: a short story 'Every may be has its may not be' (68pp); a poem 'We spend our years as a tale that is told', signed T.M.W.T. (2pp); 'A Tale of Two' (26pp); 'Light and Darkness. An Allegory' (10pp), with a verse at the end 'Waiting for the Golden Days', signed A.L.T: 'The little Petunia', signed T.M.W.T. (11pp); and, 'Ripening for the Harvest' (8pp) also signed T.M.W.T.
Biographical / Historical
The Tracy family lived at St Margaret, St Stephen, Ipswich in the early 1860s. The heads of the household were John Tracy, born in Rochester, Kent, and Mary Tracy, born in Lambeth, Surrey. According to the 1861 Census, the family was a large one, composed of: Mary C. Tracy, aged 40, a daughter who had been born in Scotland; Nathaniel Tracy, aged 31, a son, born in Lambeth, Surrey; Anthony Tracy, aged 23, a son who was born in Ipswich, Suffolk; Jessie Tracy, aged 22, a daughter, born in Ipswich; Agnes L. Tracy, aged 20, a daughter also born in Ipswich; Joseph W Tracy, aged 18, a son, born in Ipswich; Isabel M. W. Tracy, aged 17, a daughter, born in Ipswich; and Humphrey Tracy, aged 15, another son, also born in Ipswich.
Sometime in the early 1860s, sisters Agnes L. Tracy, and Isabel M. W. Tracy, had created a birthday gift of a little hand-written volume - a common-place book perhaps - for their older sister Mary C. Tracy who was in her 40s at the time.