Name/TitleBook, 'The Iliad'
MakerHomer (7th or 8th Century B.C.)
MakerEdward Smith-Stanley (1799-1869)
About this objectThis edition of ‘The Iliad’ was given to Blanche Lush from her uncle Alfred. Blanche, known as Blannie to her family, was highly educated, not only in the expected female norms for the Victorian era, but also in “book learning” as well.
During the 19th century, educating girls was seen by many parents to be fruitless. This was because women were expected to marry, have children and run a household, all of which did not need formal education. (1) However, Blannie’s parents, Vicesimus and Blanche Lush, stressed the importance of education and endeavoured to educate all of their children, including their four daughters. In 1851, Blannie’s father established a school at the All Saints Church in Howick, Auckland, where he served as the Anglican minister. In his journals, Vicesimus states that the school roll consisted of 12 boys and 15 girls, which included his daughters, Blannie and Charlotte. Blannie was taught mainly by her father, but also attended Miss Hill's private school for girls in Auckland in 1853. (2) As part of her lessons, Blannie's father would often take her to cultural places such as the opera and theatre. One excursion to the Auckland Museum on 22 July 1856 was described in her father's journal: "...we met Blannie's friend Mary Abraham, and I took the two young friends to the Museum at which they were delighted. There is really a very creditable collection of shells, birds, reptiles, stones and curiosities..." (3). When she got older, Blannie was required to teach her younger brothers and sisters before they were old enough to attend school.
As the daughter of an Anglican minister, the Church and parish activities played an important part of Blannie’s life. In 1878, Blannie travelled to Norfolk Island to serve with the Melanesian Mission for a period of time. (4) She also assisted her father in his work and provided him with (informal and unpaid support) of a ‘good and efficient “Deconess.”’ (5) In her later years, Blannie nursed her invalid mother devotedly, and died at Ewelme Cottage on 9 December 1922.
(1) Anne Else, ‘Gender inequalities – Education,’ Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, www.teara.govt.nz/en/gender-inequalities/page-5.
(2) Alison Drummond (ed.), 'The Auckland Journals of Vicesimus Lush 1850-63,' 1971, p. 143.
(3) Ibid, p. 181.
(3) Thames Advertiser, “Untitled,” 4 April 1878, p. 2.
(4) Gillian Nelson, ‘”In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength”: Vicesimus Lush and his journals, 1850-1882,’ Master’s thesis Victoria University of Wellington, 2012, p. 29.
For more information about the Lush family and Ewelme Cottage, which is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, visit our website.
Medium and MaterialsPaper
Measurements18 x 11 x 3cm
Place MadeLondon, England
PublisherJohn Murray (estab. 1768)
Publication PlaceLondon, England
Number in SeriesVolume I
Subject and Association KeywordsGirlhood
Credit LineCollection of Ewelme Cottage, Heritage New Zealand Historic Pouhere Taonga