Articles tagged with: France

Amelina Petit de Billier

on Wednesday, 23 September 2015. Posted in Other

Amelina Petit de Billier was born in Paris in 1798. In 1820, she moved from France to England to join the Feilding family as their governess at Lacock Abbey.

The Feilding family consisted of Charles Feilding, his wife Lady Elisabeth (previously Talbot, nee Fox-Strangways), their two daughters Caroline and Horatia, and Lady Elisabeth's son William Henry Fox Talbot. Amelina was a similar age to William and not much older than the two girls, so she seemed to live as part of the family even though she was originally engaged to be their governess. She enjoyed her life with the Feildings very much, remaining close to the family and actually was buried in the same plot as William Henry Fox Talbot.

Amelina Petit de Billier

‘To sing, to dance and to cook in all languages’ (1) : Matilda Talbot's passion for languages.

on Tuesday, 05 April 2016. Posted in Matilda Talbot

 

Matilda in Vezelay with on terrace

Matilda Talbot (B. Jul. 15, 1871. D. Mar. 25, 1958) (2) seated on the terrace of the Cheval Blanc, Vezelay, May 1957. Photograph taken by Mr Sam Walker (3).

"My own life has been rather like a kaleidoscope" (4), writes Matilda Talbot in her autobiography. For somebody who experienced the two world wars at first hand, travelled in three continents, and went on to unexpectedly inherit Lacock Abbey, her life was truly kaleidoscopic; a constantly changing sequence of patterns punctuated by bursts of colour.

It was perhaps due to her natural flair for languages, combined with her kind and down-to-earth manner, that many of these colourful experiences came about. She readily accepted invitations to visit old friends and new acquaintances in far-off places, sometimes travelling with her family, but never fearful of travelling independently. When she did travel on her own, she was never alone, striking up friendships with passengers and crew, on-board boats as she tried out her language skills.