Within parameters of practicality, our transcription is as accurate as possible. As such, Charlotte’s idiosyncratic spelling, punctuation and capitalisation, together with her ubiquitous underlining (without which, the diaries would most certainly not be the same) are reproduced faithfully – albeit within the limits of our interpretation and a computer keyboard.
The transcription process involved working almost exclusively from 16mm microfilm copies; the reader is therefore urged to consult the original diaries should they wish to explore any ambiguity.
Charlotte’s entries are invariably represented in normal text. Where we have added our own notes, these are entered either as italics or [italics].
The original journals vary in type and form and whereas some incorporate printed dates and headings, others are simple notebooks. We have standardised headings for year and month as underlined and bold. For the purpose of clarity, entry dates are also standardised throughout the transcription and likewise are bold.
Line length in the original diaries is short, as these are small pocket-books. Within the transcription, dated daily entries have an increased line-length to fit our own page-width although, unfortunately, this does sometimes affect how the entries “read”. However, notes, lists, etc, especially within the end-papers, are usually reproduced as near to the original as possible.
Occassionally, where a word or phrase has evaded even the closest scrutiny and we have accepted defeat, we have inserted [illegible] or similar. Where there is some doubt about a word, most usually a place or a person’s name, we have preceded the word thus, with an *asterisk.
Superscript, underlining and strikethrough
All entries are intended to resemble the original where possible. Charlotte uses underlining with considerable frequency and often to an extent which diminishes its effectiveness. However, we have tried to be precise in our efforts to reproduce all underlining; there are often small nuances and fine distinctions of meaning to be found within Charlotte’s style – the pressure of the pen, the length of the line and sometimes even the particular letters of the word underlined.
Wherever possible, punctuation mirrors the original text. Where there is ambiguity (which is often) we have used punctuation that provides most sense to the passage. If there is, for example, no full stop (and there patently should be) we have added extra spacing between sentences. This is particularly evident where Charlotte finishes a sentence at the end of a line and we do not. Where a sentence starts with a lower-case letter, we have reproduced this.
Entries for money have usually been standardised to a more modern format as “£ s d”.
Where a feature is difficult or impossible to reproduce (such as large, encompassing brackets, insertions, etc) then either an explanatory note is inserted or the feature is omitted. Again, in such cases the reader must consult the original diaries.
The transcription of The Diaries of Charlotte Grove (later Downes) together with the content of this website are copyright © John Lane & Valerie Lane Kay