Library

Of all rooms, the Library is the one which most gives the lie to the view that George and Monica were just party animals. Not the original room fitted for the library, the bookcases do not quite fit the spaces but are filled with a most interesting collection although the first books you see are probably the least interesting. On your left as you pass through the door and to the left of the fireplace are a full set of Alexandre Dumas in English and of GJ Melville, and hiding behind the books, double shelved, are some of the multiple copies of the three volume collection of John Bullough's Speeches, letters and poems which his widow Alexandra had published after he died. Over the fireplace are the volumes of photographs George brought back from his travels round the world. Most of these were bought from commercial photographers while en route. There is no indication that George took a photographer with him or had a personal interest in photography. Very few of the images show George or his companion Robert Mitchell. Also over the fireplace are the many volumes of the Racing Calendar, Steeplechases past and to come - the tools of the trade of a racehorse trainer although George moved from jump racing to the flat. 

To the right of the fireplace is a case full of fiction - the sort of light reading most people would take on holiday. But it is when you move round to the remainder of the bookcases that you find much more depth. One bookcase contains many volumes about Africa, particularly South Africa as it was at the turn of the 19th to 20th century. One volume, by James Bryce, 'Impressions of South Africa' was given to Monica when she was still Mrs Charrington by John Hays Hammond, who was engineer to Cecil Rhodes. It is obvious from the annotations initialled 'MC' that Monica knew South Africa well and loved it.  Books about the South African wars from both sides and books about the First World War published soon after the end of that War. Also lurking quietly is a little volume entitled 'The Invasion of 1910', by William Le Queux, published in 1906 and foretelling the German war although no invasion actually took place. There are other examples of invasion literature which was popular at the time but shows an awareness of the political situation.

There are many biographies, many of strong women, but soldiers also feature quite highly. Several books in the collection are inscribed 'Fitzalan G Manners'. Manners was an officer in the Boer War who died of Enteric Fever towards the end of the war. Research has shown that Monica Charrington rode to hounds with Fitzalan Manners and she was also executor of his will but the relationship is unknown. Certainly Monica traced a relationship through her mother's family to the Manners family.

Also in the library are a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica, the Dictionary of National Biography, many volumes of Baily's magazine of sports and pastimes, books on hunting, books of poetry and George Bullough's school books, much doctored with ink and doodles. A very slim volume, 'The Danaid' is by Bertha Young. Is this by George's sister Bertha who married Charles Young in 1891?