Diary Comparison

Tuesday 5th August 1834

Ann Walker’s Entry

Anne Lister’s Entry

Up at 5 – bowel complaint again – breakfasted at 8 – at 10 set off in a little carriage to Sassenack [Sassenage] – crossed an iron bridge (suspension) only been completed 6 years but wood being all bad they have it to replace with better, only one side is yet done – length of bridge 


Sassenach [Sassenage] is situated, at foot of a steep hill, from this hill a beautiful view of Grenoble, the rivers, Isere & Drac – & opposite mountains, which were unfortunately covered with clouds – I stayed in middle of hill, whilst dearest went to top – said she had a much more extensive & more lovely view – & very fine meadows there – at Sassenage famous for its cheese, we saw its celebrated grotoes [grottoes], the cascades, & singular rise of the water from the rock which cannot be seen without a candle – [word crossed out] guide told us he intended to build a Pavilion to shut the woods out, from those who would go there without him, he has lately bought this wood for 300 francs – as we return saw the Sapey [Sappey] so much spoken of – as we returned saw in [gap] a Poplar cut down of extraordinary length 84 yards – feet – then to the Roman bridge on new road to Marseilles, which is not quite finished & some parts of it are very bad – bridge of one arch, & exceedingly – two of its [most] best characterics [characteristics] of being Roman, as [letter crossed out] it is put together with Mortar which is not usually case with Roman bridges or buildings. exceedingly tired, back to Hotel, dined, & went to bed –

Courtesy of West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale WYC:1525/7/1/5/1/22 & WYC:1525/7/1/5/1/23

[up at] 6 3/4

[to bed at] 12 1/4

no kiss not at all with her  Adney better this morning – preparing for cousin breakfast at 8 1/2 – agree about carriage 15/. (everything bonne main and all compris) for the whole of today – off at 10 20/.. Adney and I (and took George) in 1 horse calèche George and the driver sitting in front – in 1/4 hour at and crossed the handsome suspension bridge over the Drac – finished only 6 years ago – the wood bad – taking it up, and laying down fresh – kept close along the Drac (north) till after its junction with the Isère – just there, 2 boats – 3 pair of oxen to each, the animals one man to each pair, hauling in the midst of the water (above their middles in the deepest part) towards Grenoble – at 11 5/.. turn left and in about 10 minutes at the village of Sassenage – drove up the hill towards the quarries – very steep and bad got out at 11 25/.. and left the carriage waiting – Adney and I walked forwards – she tired and left her at 11 52/.. while I went to the top of a hill or monticule a little above the quarries for the sake of the view – Miss W-’s [Walker’s] bowels not yet well – walked quickish considering the steepish ascent and stony road and great heat (tho’ fine air latterly on the higher ground) and in 1/4 hour at 12 7/.. at the top of the hill – very fine panoramic view of the junction of the Drac and Isère and of the latter almost to Voreppe, and a considerable length of the former – pity the clouds hid, in a great measure, the great height of the mountain range to the eastward – the plain or valley of Grenoble Graissivaudan very rich and beautiful – enjoyed the view for 5 minutes then down again to Adney at 1 40/.. – she with one stone for a seat and another for a table – ate her cold fowl and took her malaga légèrement trempé de l’eau in 20 minutes – we were soon back where we left the carriage, went down the bad road in it, and alighted at the hotel des Cuves at Sassenage at 1 20/.. – the landlord went with us as guide – this little expedition took us from 1 23/.. to 2 28/.., but then we went considerably above the cuves in the wood to where our guide the proprietor is making a zigzag walk and going to erect a pavillon from a nice point of view – he had bought the property 15 days ago, 400 toises of rock and wood for 370 francs – we had a steepish ascent – along the high wall of rock (left) very pretty valley – cleft with a pretty cascade and stream utlilisé for a mill – passed an insignificant hole or recess in the rock (yellow hoary compact limestone) then a few yards higher up the cuve a handsome cavern mouth with 2 streams meeting in and forming in it a very pretty cascade – the stream to the left on entering runs along a channel we could have gone up for a long and unknown length of way, had we chose and had there not been rather too much water – (no depth, but not like getting wetshod) – the man lighted his candle, but we declined wading – another recess in the rock a little higher up – the man talked of making a pavillon here too – said he would spoil the place – advised merely a bench and rustic table – from the intended site of pavillon above looked over a pretty green vineyard on the opposite little high plain backed wood and the out-peeping old tower part masonry part rock of the ancient Chateau de Sassenage – I was struck with this little propriété, and joked to Adney about buying it – Sassenage a very good village – the famous cheeses made at the chalets on the pastures on the rock above – can buy here (said our Grenoble landlord last night) at ./75 what 3 francs a pound in London – Off on our return from Sassenage at 2 35/.. – drove close under the high almost perpendicular rocks – at 3 pass by (left) very rich land vines on frames and under them fine tall hemp – 1200 toises of this land (said our intelligent cocher the owner of our carriage and horse – keeps 12 horses) lets for 100 francs a year – at 3 5/.. alight at the Barmes (rocks) de Fontaine, a village near – the carriage met us at the other end of our walk, along a good wide double avenued road close under the barmes a perpendicular wall of rock 2 or 300 feet high? a pity the trees of our avenue were too near, broke the rock and spoilt the view – Elms poplars and willows – one of the poplars, broken off about a yard from the bottom (blown down?) quite sound – measured from the ground to where the top was cut off, at about 3 inches diameter, 28 of my parasols long i.e. about 28 yards or 84 feet! was perhaps about near 2 feet diameter at the surface of the ground – to buy the ground (line 6 from the bottom of last page) let at 100/. one must pay 2000 francs per stèré and 1 stèré (as the driver pronounced it) = 900 toises carrés – this rich ground produces several crops of hemp for year after year de suite, but rests (is fallow) sometimes, or grows wheat, and produces 3 crops in a year beet and other things – the coarse reedy grass we passed sometime afterwards (the coarse produce of wet uncultivated land) called la laiche or perhaps better la bauche requires no manure, no care, is merely and made into percés (little round stacks or pikelings with poles run thro’ the middle and sticking at the top) and sells for 80 francs the stèré for manure for the vines (engrais pour les vignes) is put about the young souches or suckers in March if the weather be fine enough – Monsieur Perrier (a cotton manufacturer and calico printer in the chateau of Vizille – 800 people employed but lately only a filature de coton there) the richest propriétaire here – had from 2 or 3000 stèrés – lately dead – his son married a mademoiselle de Lafayette petite fille to the general – the farm on which grew the coarse reedy grass noticed consists of about 2000 stèrés – back at the Pont de fer (suspension bridge) at 3 35/.. – the river (Drac) and the bridge 410 feet long by 20 feet 8 inches wide – the handsome strong stone pyramidal pillars at each end 45 feet high from the surface of the bridge and the bridge about 14 feet above the present level of the water which is now 3 feet deep in the deepest part under the bridge – (said the workmen on the bridge laying down new timbers) – some distance on the right (east) side the Drac before getting in the great high road to La Croix haute, and shockingly we were jolted – it made Adney sick and poorly – our cocher said engrais was very dear – people let the engrais of their horses per annum the farmer taking it finding and bringing the straw – the dung of one horse (on these terms) averages (not too dear) 25/. per annum – our cocher for his 12 horses has 300/. a year – the richest part of Dauphiné therefore called le rognon de Dauphiné is about 3 leagues du pays from here, at and about Voiron famous for its cloth from 2/50 to 6 francs l’anne – on getting into the route royale our cocher said it rose six lignes per pied i.e. 1/2 inch per foot – called La course from Grenoble to Claix – it is a fine double avenue chiefly of elms, large-leaved maple or small leaved sycamores, polars – see the pont de Claix straight before us from the moment of getting into the great road – the pont is about the same level as the chateau or Bastille here – a great deal of the land this way reclaimed from the devastating Drac only 8 or 10 years ago, and much reclaiming now – the water is drained off into reservoirs, and suffered to deposit its sediment (like our road sand at home) which is spread thick over the gravelly ground that is thus made into good land – this good road by Claix is new and is to go direct to Marseilles but will not be finished of a few years – the road by Gap is 10 postes nearer than by Valence and this new road will be 10 postes nearer than by Gap – they are working too at the road to Bourg d’Oisans meaning to make a good carriage road this way to Briançon – good now to Bourg d’Oisans but not beyond there – our driver tried it 2 1/2 months ago – had the carriage to take in pieces to pass and so much damage done would not engage to go that way again – 36,000 âmes in Grenoble – principal trade ganterie, but not so celebrated for it as formerly – Claix a good little village – new – only 2 houses here 10 years ago – the valley (called Les isles) beyond the bridge not in cultivation till 30 years ago – ascend the hill (would be 5 or 10 minutes walking) and at the Pont de Claix, or down the hill a minute or 2 beyond it, chez Fournier, restaurateur, at 4 40/.. – Adney so sick and tired and afraid of fleas in the house would not get out of the carriage – I went to see the bridge then went back and persuaded her to go – fine bold arch, from rock to rock – not of very large stone and built with cement mortar, so did not struck me as being Roman architecture, tho’ they say it is – the outside line (particularly the northern) of the arch is not quite straight, – as if the arch might have been built from each end and made to join in the middle – off back again at 5 1/4 and alighted at home at 6 20/.. Hay this year sells at 5/+ some sols the quintal ordinaire i.e. 50 kilos (the quintal métrique = 100 kilos (or kilogrammes of which one = 2 pounds) – the quintal of hay used to be from 2/50 to 3/. or 4/. wheat should sell for 6/. the bushel, to pay the farmer it now sells for only 4/50 – so bread cheaper than hay and give the horses soldiers bread – good perhaps 1/3 or 2/3 rye with the wheat – a horse has sometimes 6 pounds a day of this – can only go in a carriage about or not quite 1/2 way up to the chateau or Bastille – Dinner at 6 1/2 to 7 3/4 – dawdling with Miss W- [Walker]  her bowels grumbling and she wanted petting – from 9 3/4 to 11 3/4 wrote out today – very fine day – Fahrenheit 69° at 11 50/.. p.m.

Courtesy of West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale SH:7/ML/E/17/0068 & SH:7/ML/E/17/0069

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