Past, Present, Man, Nature: 10. “Active elderly lady, retired writer”

Past, Present, Man, Nature: celebrating Jacquetta Hawkes.

An online exhibit by Alison Cullingford, Special Collections Librarian, University of Bradford.

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10. “Active elderly lady, retired writer”

Menu cover for birthday dinner

Menu cover for birthday dinner

Here is the menu design for the Anodyne Dinner held at the Savile Club to celebrate Jacquetta’s 70th birthday, “anodyne” presumably because the enjoyment of the occasion would take away the pain of another birthday!  Priestley held similar dinners on important birthdays.  Guests included friends from the theatre and literary world, such as Peggy Ashcroft and Iris Murdoch, and members of their large extended family.  Hospitality and friendship were important to the Priestleys; Diana Collins vividly describes the delights of visiting their homes, first Brook Hill on the Isle of Wight, then Kissing Tree in Warwickshire, which Jacquetta described as “a patchwork but predominantly 18th century house”.  The Archive contains many letters from their friends and family, full of thanks for parties and weekends, and corresponding images, like this of Jacquetta with JBP’s daughter Barbara’s husband and children at dinner, one 1970s Christmas.

Dinner at Christmas time

Dinner at Christmas time

After Priestley died in 1984, Jacquetta moved to a smaller house, Littlecote, in Chipping Camden, where she continued to follow developments in her profession, to see her friends and family, and to enjoy gardening and nature study.  She described herself as an “active elderly lady, retired writer” in an advertisement for a cook-housekeeper. She died in 1996, of old age.  Her ashes are buried next to Priestley’s, at Hubberholme in the Yorkshire Dales.


2 responses to “Past, Present, Man, Nature: 10. “Active elderly lady, retired writer”

  1. Pingback: Past, Present, Man, Nature: 9. “The Stonehenge it deserves” « Celebrating Jacquetta Hawkes

  2. Pingback: 2010 in review « Celebrating Jacquetta Hawkes

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