Hidden away in our secure strongrooms The Hive are the family and estate archives of the Lyttelton family, which came into public ownership in 2010 as part of the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme. Thanks to the award of a National Cataloguing Grant a twelve month project entitled 'The Lytteltons of Hagley: history makers and empire builders' is now well underway to catalogue and make available to the public this fascinating collection, which documents the lives of a significant landowning North Worcestershire family.
"For sure the pain of parting from you has already merged into the vision of the glorious golden future and I am radiantly happy in my love for my Violet".
The letters continue to convey his passion for Violet, although there is evidence some days later that doubt begins to cross Jack's mind as to whether she feels the same way and to whether she is even thinking of him at all. Although now we are accustomed to being able to instantly communicate with loved ones no matter where they are in the world, whilst on-board the ship Jack was writing his letters to Violet knowing that she would not receive them for some weeks and without hope of receiving a reply for the same. This lack of contact with each other so soon after meeting must have introduced a feeling of insecurity between the young couple, but at the same time must have made their longing for one another even stronger.
Jack was quite right to dream of their future together as the happy couple went on to marry on 30th June 1908, only six months after first meeting. Although this may seem like somewhat of a whirlwind marriage by modern standards it was far more commonplace to have short engagements during this period. The speed with which the couple married did nothing to hinder the success of their partnership; they went on to have five children and spent the rest of their lives together. What is even more endearing to see when reading through the rest of the letter bundles is that the quite charming Jack never lost his sense of romance throughout the years of their marriage to one another, as later letters he sent still show the strong affection he has for his wife…
In this modern age I think one might risk sounding a little contrived, or even cheesy, using the language found in these letters, which is a shame as when reading through them it is impossible to not be moved by the emotion and sincerity that comes across. I also consider these documents a real 'treasure' as we are so much less likely to receive and retain handwritten notes such as this for future generations to look back on. Somehow a text message just doesn't have quite the same impact!