How do you do? My name is Charlotte Anne Bell.
I am 9 years old and live in Bloomsbury, which is a part of London. We live in a town house on Regent Square, which is quite close to the big museum.
My father works in the city, in Paternoster Row, which is near St. Paul´s Cathedral. He is an editor in a publishing house. People send books to him that they have written and he reads them and decides if they will be published as books. Sometimes he meets the writers when they come to the city.
St.Paul´s, west end of Cheapside and Paternoster Row,ca. 1870s
My mother is a lady. She runs the household and plays the piano. I love to hear her play!
My brothers and sisters and I spend most days in our nursery. We meet our parents mostly at mealtimes, unless we eat in the nursery; at bedtime when we go down to say good night or when we are called down to the parlour, sometimes to meet visitors.
I have an older sister, Caroline, who is 13 and two older brothers, named George and Arthur, who are 12 and 11. Caroline gets to be called down more often to assist mother and Margery with household tasks.
Margery is mother´s maid and our main housemaid.
George and Arthur are at school in Eton and only come home for the holidays.
And then there´s me, and Jane, who is 7 and Emily, who is 5, and Albert who is just a baby.
Miss Marchion is our governess. She teaches us older ones, Caroline and Jane and me in the day nursery while Nurse looks after the baby and Emily in the night nursery where we all sleep.
Father thinks learning is very important and wants us all to read and learn as much as we can, even us girls, although Miss Manderly insists that we must not neglect drawing, music, dancing, needlework and household management for books and stories. She says we´ll never get married otherwise. Caroline and I don´t even want to get married!
Jenkins is our butler and father´s valet. Then there´s Fanny the Cook and Ada the kitchen maid.
Map of London, 1845
We go to mass at St.Peter´s Church which is right here in Regent Square. Our vicar is the Revd.Thomas Nolan.
There is also another church here on the square. It´s a Presbyterian church which means Scottish people go there.