Celebrating Charlotte Mary Yonge’s dedication: Alys’ postcard from Hampshire

Alys visiting St Matthew's church, Otterbourne, Hampshire, 20th September 2014. 175th anniversary celebration open day.

Alys visiting St Matthew’s church, Otterbourne, Hampshire, 20th September 2014.
175th anniversary celebration open day.

Why I went…

I went to help staff the Charlotte Yonge Fellowship’s stall there. Our aim was to share our pleasure in Miss Yonge’s books, to tell the people of her home village something about her life and works, and to publicise the Fellowship. Charlotte (1823-1901) was a true Victorian and her novels deserve to be better-known. They combine period charm with lively, well-drawn and convincing characters, engrossing plots, thought-provoking attitudes and dramatic descriptions. 

What I got out of the experience…

I enjoyed meeting local people whose ancestors had known Charlotte, either socially or as a volunteer teacher in the Otterbourne school, and adding to my picture of her life. It was also a joy to see how important Charlotte’s church still is to its parishioners, and to see the lych-gate and the apse which Charlotte donated to her beloved church. I could imagine her worshipping there and after the service enquiring about the village families and their lives. I was also able to spend some time of remembrance at her grave. 

Creative Commons Licence

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