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Katherine Frances Hills diary


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

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Katherine Francis Hills was born December 18, 1872 in Kensington, England to Octavius LIlburne Hills (1838-1877), a lawyer, and Matilda Catherine Brown (1840-). Katherine had three younger brothers Charles R. Hills, Archibald E. Hills, and Reginald B. Hills. Matilda raised her four children chiefly along coast of West Sussex, England in the towns of Worthing, Hastings, and Westgate. In January 1908 Katherine married Francis Rodes Hutt at St. Stephen's in South Kensington. They lived at Manor House Harting in West Sussex and had at least one child Christopher Hutt.

A paper-covered, ruled volume with marbled edges comprising the diary of Katherine Francis Hills spanning the years from 1888 to 1890. The first entry of the diary is July 26, 1888. Hills wrote daily entries of her life until September 23, 1888. Her entries following that date were sporadic. Hills opened the journal with the family's move for the summer from their home in Heene, Worthing to Folkestone where she and her brothers, Charlie, Archie, and Reggie spent their days bathing in the sea and exploring the coast. Hills wrote of the daily life and health of her mother, brothers, and other family members. She noted novels and stories she read, going to the library, visiting family including Uncle Graham and Aunt Mary, seeing friends, and attending church. Hills recorded visits to town and observing the fleet coming to port and describing ships. Before the family departed Folkestone her Uncle Graham died suddenly at the age of forty. In September Hills returned to school and noted her lessons and her activities such as playing tennis and music lessons. In December 1888 Hills stated she was finished with formal schooling and noted her sixteenth birthday. The entries that follow were written in April and May 1889, when the Hills family was living in Hastings and Westgate. Hills also described a trip to London during this time. A year later in May 1890 Hills was living in Switzerland and staying with family friends. She recorded her life in Lausanne from May to July 1890 including cities she visited, climbing a mountain, and hearing an avalanche. Hills recorded a list of people she met in Switzerland with adjectives following each name. At the end of July 1890, Hills had returned to England and was living with her family in Hastings. The diary is written chiefly in pencil. K. Hills is written on the first endpaper. One third of the diary is blank.

Sold by Alastor Rare Books (Lymington, England), 2017.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Donna Brandolisio
Finding Aid Date
May 2017
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Katherine Francis Hills diary, 1888-1890.
Volume 1

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