EVJ Remembers is a fascinating memoir written by Miss Eleanor Violet Jauncey in 1983-4. She was ninety-three years old at the time and harkening back to days gone by when she was growing up in Edwardian England, visiting cousins in Imperial Russia, working at the Admiralty during the First World War, and breaking codes at Bletchley Park during the Second. Her memories were written at the request of her niece, Lady Camilla Jauncey, and scribbled onto pages of small pads which Eleanor balanced on her knee. The result was a wealth of memories, but the spidery handwriting was so difficult to read that the family could make them out. The pages were put away for almost twenty years, until Lady Jauncey and I began corresponding about the family history. She mentioned how sorry she was that "Aunt Eleanor's" memories were unreadable. Unwilling to give up on them, I asked her to scan each page and send the more-than-100 images to me to decipher!
Three sample pages of Aunt Eleanor's original papers.
The papers were indeed extremely difficult to read, but my Mother loves historical research and is an absolute wonder when it comes to reading and transcribing old handwriting. One sight of the first image, and it didn't take much to persuade her to undertake the massive project of transcribing and editing Aunt Eleanor's memories. Many hours were spent just staring at the screen, while she acclimated herself to Aunt Eleanor's scrawl. All of the little pages were out of order, so hours had to go into transcribing the spidery writing, combining multiple tellings of the same stories, sorting them into chronological order, organizing them into "chapters", annotating each event, and finally illustrating it all. After more than four years of work and waiting, these memories are now ready to share.
Before reading EVJ Remembers, I would suggest that you look at her "Personal Facts" page. The memoirs will be more meaningful if you understand who she was and what she was recording.
• To read EVJ Remembers, click on the "Table of Contents" button above.
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