This publication contains Lady Ann’s journals in three volumes that were revised from the original dairies she wrote during the years 1797 and 1798. This ‘revision’, by lady Anne herself, was most probably done between 1815 and her death in 1825 and were never intended for publication. However, they are invaluable for the light which they cast on ‘the interesting domestic particulars of life in Cape Town’, dealing with matters which male writers ignored.
In addition, her place in society, as wife to the secretary of the first British governor and the latter’s ‘official hostess’, gave her access to a wide range of classes and people. Although carefully censored, her journals, enhanced by the quality of her writing, provide a unique of view of life at the Cape at the end of the 18th century.
The first volume is a description of the voyage aboard the Sir Edward Hughes sailing from London to Bombay via the Cape.
The second volume covers the year and a half during which the Barnards resided in the Castle and later in the restored cottage which they named ‘Paradise’ in what is today the Newlands forest.