Book, 'Leaves from the Journal of our Life in the Highlands'; Queen Victoria of ...


Book, 'Leaves from the Journal of our Life in the Highlands'


Queen Victoria of Great Britain (1819-1901)

Maker Role



Arthur Helps (1813-1875)

Maker Role


About this object

This book was given to Blanche Lush, known as Blannie to her family, from her mother and father on 1 June 1868. Blannie then gifted this book to her niece Mary Ruddock as a Christmas present in 1914.

This book details the Highland holidays of Queen Victoria and her family at Balmoral in Aberdeenshire. Victoria’s journal includes stories about mountain adventures, boating, and other activities as well as accounts of her travels in England and Ireland. It was written not long after her husband, Prince Albert, had passed away in 1861, an event which caused Victoria to retreat from public life. This book, therefore, provided the public with a glimpse of her private life from a very personal point of view. The journal was an instant bestseller, and lead to the subsequent publication, ‘More Leaves from a Journal of a Life in the Highlands’ in 1884.

In New Zealand, popular feeling for the royal family has waxed and waned. Until the end of the 19th century, the royal family were generally unpopular and were one of the reasons why many Britons migrated to New Zealand. This is evident during the 1880s when the Queen's golden jubilee was met with little pomp and ceremony in New Zealand. However, towards the latter part of the 19th century, the royal family grew in popularity especially when Queen Victoria celebrated her diamond jubilee. Royal coronations, marriages and deaths were celebrated or mourned, and this enabled New Zealanders with English heritage to maintain a connection with the ‘mother country’ despite being located half a world away. (1)

Blannie was obviously interested in the royal family as she pasted a number of article cuttings about them into the book, including snippets about the Prince of Wales George V and Princess Alexandra of Fife, Queen Victoria’s granddaughter.

(1) Megan Cook, ‘Royal family – Place of royalty in New Zealand,’ Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, www.teara.govt/en/royal-family/page-1

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 Materials



17 x 12 x 2cm

Date Made


Place Made

London, England


Smith, Elder and Co.

Publication Date


Publication Place

London, England

Credit Line

Collection of Ewelme Cottage, Heritage New Zealand Historic Pouhere Taonga

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

This object is from

Include tags such as place names, people, dates, events and colours. Use commas to separate multiple tags. e.g. Pablo Picasso, Madrid, red, 1930s.